New café aimed at people living with dementia and disabilities will be launched in Leamington this summer

Fran Scott and Steve Cooper will be turning a dream into reality when they open the Forget Me Not Café in Clarendon Avenue soon.

A new café aimed at people Living with Dementia and disabilities is to be launched in Leamington this summer.

Fran Scott and Steve Cooper first came up with the idea for the Forget Me Not café four years ago and are now turning their dreams into reality having rented a property in Clarendon Avenue from Warwick District Council.

The couple have been able to do this after they received a Covid-19 recovery loan from Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT) after they contacted Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) for help and advice .

Caption: From the left, Martin Nwangwa (CWLEP Growth Hub), Steve Cooper and Fran Scott (Forget Me Not café) and David Owen (CWRT). Picture submitted.

Fran said: “The loan has allowed us to move forward with our café plans that we have had in the works for four years – to create a dementia and disabled friendly café.

"Without the help of CWLEP and the CWRT we would not be in the position we are now in.”

Fran said she had also spoken to the Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK to receive advice on providing a ‘home-from-home’ café for vulnerable members of the community.

She said: “We have taken their suggestions on how to develop the café such as having memory boxes with artifacts from the 1930s onwards because often people with dementia have short-term memory loss but can recall films or news events from their youth.

“We are now aiming to open in the next two months and as a charity, we are looking for volunteers who are builders that could work at cost as well as volunteers to work in the café including those with learning disabilities.

“We are employing a fully-qualified chef to create all the items on the menu which we will be adapting for our customers, and we are also hoping to attract students and shoppers so that all members of the community can mingle with each other.”

Warwickshire County Council has committed significant funding to the loan scheme.

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The council’s portfolio holder for economy, Cllr Martin Watsonm said: “This café will be a wonderful example of how the loan can really benefit our communities and give them the power to tackle the issues that affect them locally."