Hillsborough Park’s dementia-friendly cafe receives £50,000 funding

The campaign to open a dementia-friendly cafe in Hillsborough Park moved up a notch last week as a £50,000 funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund was granted. 

The funding will help towards turning the former coach house, which was last used as a munitions store during the Second World War, into the city’s first dedicated activity centre for elderly people. Age UK Sheffield say the £50k will allow the charity to progress plans and eventually apply for a full National Lottery Grant to complete the plan.

The centre, behind Hillsborough Library and adjoining the Park’s attractive walled garden, would host dementia-friendly group activities such as singing and dancing, as well as classroom-based activities and educational classes such as digital drop-ins. The community café could be open to thousands of local park visitors, including dog-walkers, children’s playground users, and park runners.

Age UK Sheffield is interested in developing inter-generational learning opportunities and concepts such as a ‘Nana’s Cafe’ with socially-isolated older people being brought to together to cook for other people. The chief executive of the charity Steve Chu said: “This is absolutely fantastic news. Thanks to National Lottery players we have a real opportunity to develop The Old Coach House into a thriving community venue for older people in Sheffield and local people in Hillsborough. Importantly, through this project, we can bring back into use a derelict listed building that would otherwise soon be lost.”

Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for transport and development at Sheffield city council, said: “We are a city that takes its heritage seriously and I know this old coach house has long been identified as a building which needs investment and major improvement. Age UK Sheffield have offered a compelling vision for how a dementia-friendly café could operate in the community, and this has been supported by Heritage Lottery Fund. With careful support, this could be something that benefits all age groups in Sheffield – and provides a lasting legacy for years to come.”

You can get involved with Age UK Sheffield by visiting the charity’s website

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