Happy Birthday resounded around a Pagham social group for people with dementia.
The 30 or so patients and their carers joined in celebrations for the first birthday of the Teapot Café.
They enjoyed a slice of sponge birthday cake as well as the usual tea and coffee and biscuits to mark the special celebration last week.
The cafe meets from 10am-midday on the first Tuesday monthly at Pagham (St Ninian’s) United Reformed Church in Pagham Road.
The Rev Dr Janet Hopewell, the church’s associate minister, said:
“We recognised there was a need in the community for the café.
“We are all getting older and we wanted to offer a safe place for those who have dementia.
“We welcome carers, those they care for and anyone needing company. We also aim to be dementia-friendly.
“Most of the people who come along are living in the community but we have a couple of care homes who bring their residents along.”
Church secretary Penny Thomas said:
“We recently had two or three church members who had dementia.
“The congregation was well aware of it and knew what to do and what not to do.”
The café has been a success since its start. About 30 people usually go along to enjoy the occasion.
One of them is Sylvia Jenner-Clarke, 78, who was asked to cut the birthday cake with Penny as the rest of those present sang Happy Birthday.
Sylvia, who has dementia, of Normanton Lodge Care Home in Bognor Regis, said:
“This is about the third time I have been here. I enjoy everything about coming here.
“I enjoy the chance to come out and talk to people. It’s nice to chat to them and to get to know them.”
Normanton Lodge manager Penny Tyau said: “Sylvia is always up for coming here. This is a fabulous initiative which means so much.
“It is really important our residents are able to go out into the community.”