Island Roads helps Alzheimer’s Cafe make opening date

Posted on: April 8, 2024 at 7:34 am

Island Roads staff have joined the huge community effort to get a new Cowes Dementia Café ready for its fast-approaching opening day (Tuesday April 9).

The café will be one of a number of amenities at Parklands in Park Road, centred largely around the needs both of those living with a dementia as well as those of their carers and loved ones.

It will be the first Alzheimer Cafe in the UK to open every weekday providing support and signposting for those living with a dementia. As well as a weekday wellbeing club, other functions will include gym facilities, an art therapy room, an activity room, hairdressing salon and training centre. Other services complementary to dementia care – such as Frontline debt and benefit advice – will also be based at the centre while space for other community functions will also be available for hire.

The need for a centre bringing together services and activities was identified in the IW Dementia Strategy. Since Parklands was identified as the ideal location, efforts have been ongoing to bring the building – historically a children’s home – back into use.

Those efforts are reaching a crucial milestone as the café opens on April 9.

Open weekdays between 9am-4.30pm, the café will be a place where anyone is welcome to enjoy a cup of tea of coffee and cake or a hot or cold snack.  It will, of course, also be a place where those affected by a dementia can receive support or advice.

The opening will mark the end of the first major phase of work – but much more is required to bring the centre into full use.

Seven employees from Island Roads spent a day at the centre under the company’s volunteering scheme in which staff are encouraged  to take two days paid leave each year to support a community project. Tasks completed during their time at Parklands included painting, wallpaper stripping, sanding and filling and other DIY tasks.

Centre manager Donna White said: “We have had so much support from the local community and businesses but there is so much more still to do, particularly with the opening of the café so soon.

“That’s why we were so pleased that when we put out an appeal to local organisations, Island Roads responded so swiftly.  Our chief executive Maggie Bennett also recently held a session with Island Roads staff to explain the specific communications needs of those living with a dementia so we are really developing a strong bond with the company.”

One of the Island Roads volunteers, highway design engineer Mark Dawson, said: “It is only when you get here, see the building and speak to the amazing people behind the café that you realise what a fantastic project this is.

“It will have such a positive impact on the community and we are delighted to have been able to play a small part in bringing it about.”

You can learn more about the Parklands project at