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Getting started

“Turn the kettle on, fire up the heating and watch people start to come along.”

Planning is essential to any successful project. Although café’s are very simple to run, it’s worth setting a few things straight.

  1. What day will you run your café on? We recommend running it every week.
  2. Where are you going to run it? Do you have room you can keep warm in winter and with enough space?
  3. 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.
  4. Get your supplies in – refreshments. We advise you to keep it simple – just biscuits and cakes and drinks.
  5. 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.

  1. 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?
  2. Have a meeting before to be sur everyone is clear about what they are doing.
  3. Get ready with sticky labels so everyone has a name badge.
  4. Be ready to welcome people and spend time talking with them.
  5. 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.

  1. Look for publicity opportunities – local newspapers, local radio, are often very interested in good new stories.
  2. Keep up semi-regular leaflet drops.
  3. Add colour and texture to your café – a choir, seated exercise, talks.
  4. Encourage volunteers.



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