Planning is essential to any successful project. Although café’s are very simple to run, it’s worth setting a few things straight.
- What day will you run your café on? We recommend running it every week.
- Where are you going to run it? Do you have room you can keep warm in winter and with enough space?
- Do some publicity. Flyers through the doors of nearby houses are a good idea, plus put them up in your GP surgery and local pharmacy.
- Get your supplies in – refreshments. We advise you to keep it simple – just biscuits and cakes and drinks.
- Pick your volunteers – you’ll need people who like to mix and are basically people-people.
When you’ve done this, sort out the roles – you will need a greeter, MC and someone to do the refreshments. It’s a good idea to be flexible and make sure you can swap around. Then fix a date and get ready.
On the day
“We were worried no-one would turn up. We had 12 on the first week. We now have 80!”
On the day try the following.
- Do a health and safety check before you start. Are there any obvious risks that you have to deal with – slips and trips, burning hazards etc?
- Have a meeting before to be sur everyone is clear about what they are doing.
- Get ready with sticky labels so everyone has a name badge.
- Be ready to welcome people and spend time talking with them.
- Enjoy yourselves.
Building your café
“Word of mouth is very powerful…”
Memory cafes grow. You just need to plan for growth and help it along the way.
- Look for publicity opportunities – local newspapers, local radio, are often very interested in good new stories.
- Keep up semi-regular leaflet drops.
- Add colour and texture to your café – a choir, seated exercise, talks.
- Encourage volunteers.