Local care provider and charity, The Fremantle Trust, has launched The Butterfly Café, a new initiative designed to bring the ambience of a coffee shop to residents, across three sites in Barnet; Apthorp Care Centre, Meadowside and Dell Field Court.
With regular dates, the mobile café enables people to sample tasty treats, and comes complete with pretty tablecloths and crockery, to provide an authentic experience. Hosted in the care centre setting, it encourages staff and residents to come together who might not normally take part in regular communal activities.
A concept created by the Trust’s Leisure and Lifestyle Co-ordinator, Harinder Kalsy, The Butterfly Café stems from the idea of ‘butterfly moments’ which prompt people to stop and smile and simply enjoy being in that moment – as if pausing to marvel at a beautiful butterfly resting on a flower.
As part of this initiative, an activity trolley has been created at Apthorp Care Centre, which is filled with reminiscence objects and arts and crafts, and is distributed around the flats to encourage residents to engage in enjoyable activities and spark nostalgia.
Based on the idea of a shared experienced, the Trust has also launched a Reading Group as well as 121 reading sessions for those affected by dementia. Set up in association with The Reader Organisation, which was established to inspire a ‘reading revolution’, staff have received special training to offer the service with the intention of encouraging social interaction, enjoyment and nostalgia through literature.
Residents tend to read a variety of poetry and prose from classic authors such as the Brontës, Wordsworth, Blake and the titles often follow a theme or are seasonal. There is an option to read individually or collectively and to explore where lines take people and the reactions they prompt.
Commenting on Reading Group and Butterfly Café launch, Apthorp Care Centre Activity Coordinator, Fiona Swynnerton, said: “Having completed my training as a ‘reader’, I am delighted to play my part in setting up the Reading Group and bringing residents together to enjoy the simple pleasures of escaping into poetry and literature.
“This is intrinsically linked to our Butterfly Café launch, which brings a greater sense of community by recreating a coffee shop experience. We are passionate about continually coming up with creative initiatives to stimulate social interaction and bring joy to people’s lives.”