THE FOUNDER of a meet-up to support those living with dementia and their carers has spoken about the reasons behind it as it celebrates six months of meetings.

The memory café was set up by town councillor Gillian Howell in May this year, after her own experience of being a carer led her to realise families of those living with dementia are often in need of respite.

“The café is as much for the carers as it is for those living with dementia,” said Cllr Howell.

“Both my parents were in their 90s and both had dementia.

“My mother had Alzheimer’s though she died two months ago, my father has got vascular dementia and is doing well, but what I really wanted was somewhere people who are caring for those living with dementia could come and find all the help and support they need in one place,” she added.


An art workshop at the memory cafe, run by the VC Gallery.

The memory café is held at the Picton Centre, Haverfordwest, on the last Friday of every month, and offers a place to socialise for people living with dementia, as well as activities like art workshops from the VC Gallery.

At the same time, there is support and advice from The Alzheimer’s Society and Hafal Crossroads for carers

“As a carer, by the time you ask for help you have not energy to find it.

“I wanted to provide a safe place for carers to come and enjoy something with their loved ones but also where they can leave them if they needed to for a couple of hours,” added Gill.


Gillian Howell, who set up the memory cafe, with her father Tony Temple.

Delma King, 83, from Haverfordwest, and her daughter, Ros Bevan, have been coming to the café for several months and have enjoyed the activities on offer.

“It puts mum and I on an equal basis,” said Ros. “We are enjoying each other’s company without any pressure here.”


Donald Twigg (left) with his son Jonathan, sister-in-law Joan and wife Nesta.

Jonathan Twigg, who comes with his father Donald, a former mayor of Haverfordwest, said the memory café gives his mother Nesta some respite and a chance to talk with other carers.

“It is bigger than that too,” he added. “Everybody we might need to speak to is here in one room.”

The memory café is supported by Haverfordwest Town Council and PAVS.

At the end of the year, the memory cafe is holding a Christmas Party on Tuesday, December 18 between 2pm and 4pm.