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memory lane lunch club

Memory Lane dementia cafe - a pre-Covid photo

For a New Southgate-based dementia charity the pandemic and lockdown have led to major changes in the services required by its clients, but thanks to help from Tesco and FareShare it has been able to provide the needed support.

The Memory Lane Café and Carers Club has been in operation since 2015 at Our Lady of Lourdes church hall in Bowes Road. This self-financing charity offers "fun and laughter" for people suffering from dementia, and also for their carers, at a weekly lunch club featuring singing, dancing and games and a light lunch using food supplied by the Tesco Community Food Connection scheme in partnership with FareShare.

The weekly café has been closed since the start of lockdown, but the volunteers have been able to continue supporting their clients by delivering daily food parcels, as well as keeping in touch virtually. Recently, they have been able to resume organising gatherings, with appropriate social distancing.

Mandi Epstein describes some of the changes:

“Since lockdown, we've gone from collecting food at Tesco once a week to ten times a week. We're having to provide food not only to those with Alzheimer’s but also the elderly and people on a low income.

“We found that the lockdown and isolation was very distressing for everyone, especially carers, so we are so grateful to Tesco and FareShare for helping us get through this very difficult period with our community.”

Supporting FareShare and the Trussell Trust

fareshare and tesco logosMemory Lane Café and Carers Club is just one of thousands of community groups, food banks, and charities across the UK being supported in their work amid the COVID-19 crisis thanks to donations from the supermarket. In addition to its usual supplies of surplus food to charities and community groups Tesco is providing a further £15 million of food to support charities supplied by FareShare and foodbanks that are part of the Trussell Trust’s network.

Already 62 trucks full of Tesco food donations have been delivered to the two charities to support the increase in demand seen by charities like Memory Lane Café who have no other funding. 121 tonnes of food has been delivered to FareShare Southern Central to support 241 charities with 286,911 meals-worth of food, and enough long-life food to provide almost 1,000 meals for people in crisis being supplied to local Trussell Trust food banks each week.

Rachel Ledwith, Development Manager at FareShare London said the additional donations from Tesco are making a huge difference to charities and community groups which receive supplies from them.

Rachel said: “We are immensely thankful to Tesco for their continued support during the coronavirus pandemic. Many of the frontline charities we work with continue to provide essential support within their communities, and the additional donations from Tesco will help us to keep up a steady supply of food to them during this difficult time.”

The £15m of additional food donated by Tesco is part of a £52m package of support from the supermarket to aid charities and voluntary groups. It also includes a £1m cash donation to the Trussell Trust and FareShare to support their running costs, a £2m donation to the British Red Cross and a £2m pot from its Bags of Help community donation scheme to support local charities and community groups supporting vulnerable people with £500 grants.


Memory Lane Cafe & Carers Club


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