RESIDENTS living with dementia are being invited to sip their afternoon tea in Essex's first Memory Café.

The new space has been opened in Harwich Library, in Kingsway, Dovercourt, and will be available to anyone affected by the condition, their loved ones or care partners.

The café, which is the initiative of Essex County Council, launched on Tuesday to mark Dementia Action Week.

Memory cafés enable people to meet and interact with others, as well as take part in activities that can help re-ignite memories and encourage cognitive stimulation.

They also offer support, further information and advice.

Essex councillor John Spence, who is responsible for adults and health, said: “This is an excellent example of how, by taking a collaborative approach to delivering dementia care across our services, we can make the best use of our resources and ensure care and support is available right in the heart of our communities.”

It is hoped that providing dementia care within a shared space will not only achieve the primary aim of helping people living with dementia, but also encourage connections between residents of different ages.

The new café will provide memory care at the same time as the 0-5 years Rhymetime sessions in Harwich Library to help support informal and organic links between young and older people within a shared space.

Mr Spence added: “Our aim is to ensure that everyone living with dementia in Essex and their families has the help they need and access to high quality, stimulating experiences, delivered in appropriate environments.

“We’re excited to build on this and expand our support offer even further.”

Bringing people of different generations together can also help them better understand and have compassion for each other, as well as reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

It is hoped that the memory cafes will also help further establish libraries as help points for people living with dementia and their families, following their work with music and Dementia charity, Playlist for Life.

To find out more about dementia care and support in Essex visit