D-Caf is a creative volunteer involving initiative that supports people with dementia, their carers, family and friends.
The idea grew from a conversation between a local retired nurse and Rotarian. In collaboration with the Neighbourhood Centre in Bathurst a 6 week trial program was established. From there it took off. That was in 2019.
Today the D-Caf is an initiative that facilitates connections to support and strengthen communities, providing opportunities for social connection and respite, as well as opportunities for conversation over a friendly cup of tea or coffee.
“Volunteering helps me feel good about helping other people young or old in the community with care and support. Also, I believe it keeps me young in mind and heart.” D-Caf volunteer Kaye, 2020
Volunteers provide morning tea, conversation, do puzzles and activities with members of the community living with dementia. During the pandemic, the team continued to offer support online via Zoom. While the last few years have had their challenges there have also been moments of great joy due to the amazing efforts of wonderful volunteers and carers, and the continued support of the Neighbourhood Centre.
“I enjoy being here and take great delight in taking the folks with dementia back to stimulate their memories and slowly bring them forward in their lives. It’s amazing what you can get them to remember. I find it interesting listening to their stories from their childhood when they can’t remember yesterday.” D-Caf volunteer Bev, 2021
In 2020, Bev was awarded both Volunteer of the Year and Senior Volunteer of the Year for the Central West by The Centre for Volunteering. In 2021, the whole team was awarded the NSW Volunteer Team of the Year for the Central West by The Centre for Volunteering.
To find out more about this great volunteer initiative visit https://www.binc.org.au/d-caf-dementia-cafe