National Roll of Honour Award 2020

Plymouth Café worker honoured for her support to vulnerable customers during Covid-19 pandemic

Leading social enterprise Moments Café has been awarded a place by Social Enterprise UK on their national Roll of Honour, which this year replaced their annual awards ceremony. The work of Café assistant Anne-Marie Mills in response to the Covid-19 crisis was given a special mention in the celebration of the ‘heroes’ of the past year.

Anne-Marie has been having regular phone conversations with vulnerable customers since the first lockdown was put in place. With the help of the café team, over 600 support calls have been made since March, as well as weekly zoom group ‘Coffee and Catchup’ session with groups of customers.

Anne-Marie said: “At this time it’s very easy to feel isolated and lonely so it’s important to reach out and make sure others don’t feel alone. I know what it’s like from personal experience and I don’t like the thought of other people feeling the same.”

Regular Café customer Alex lives alone and experienced loneliness and isolation after losing her husband and daughter. In her regular visits to the Café, Alex says the team have always lifted her spirits and that has continued even when the Café has been forced to close in lockdown.

Alex said: “The phone calls have been brilliant. There have been days when I’m quite down but hearing somebody on the end of the phone really picks you up. The staff taking the time out of their day to talk to me really means the world.

Alex paid tribute to Anne-Marie, saying: “Anne-Marie is so good at noticing if someone is feeling down, however busy she is. Nothing is ever too much trouble for her and she always goes above and beyond to make sure everybody else around her is happy.”


Joint CEO, Kate Smith was chosen to speak about the work of Moments at a virtual event this week that was joined by 1,000 social enterprise businesses and individuals from across the UK. It was hosted by actor and comedian Chris Addison, best-known for his comedy shows and as a panellist on Mock the Week. The Roll of Honour recognised individuals and businesses which have demonstrated strength, passion and resilience over the course of an extremely challenging year.

Anne-Marie says her own personal journey from loneliness and isolation helped her to understand others in that situation.

She says: “Before joining Moments Café, my life was very different. I had been out of work for 15 years as a full-time carer for my mum. After she passed away, I really felt like I had no purpose – I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. I started out by volunteering and now work 20 hours a week. I have a real sense of purpose and so much more confidence – I feel better about myself and life.”

Support for our most vulnerable customers was important to the Café team who recognised the huge need for human connection in the current very difficult situation and the positive difference they could make by keeping that connection.

Emma Oxland, Moments Café Manager said: “We are always mindful that when a customer visits the café, we may be the only people they talk to that day. Having to close the café meant our customers would not have those friendly chats and would potentially not be seeing or talking to anyone. With this in mind, it was important to us that we continued to have those conversations to keep everyone feeling connected and less isolated.”

Supporting Moments Café throughout COVID-19

A few days after celebrating Moments Café’s 3rd birthday, we had to close our doors to help protect our customers and staff from COVID-19. Our customers are always our priority and we are counting down the days until we can re-open our doors to them.

Moments Café, located in Plymouth City Centre, was opened 3 years ago by Kate and Laura, Co-Founders and Joint CEO’s of Memory Matters. The café was opened as a retro-style café to create memories for all our customers to enjoy. It is specifically dementia-friendly, which, in turn, makes it a safe, warm and friendly environment for people to come and visit.

All of the profits made in Moments Café go towards supporting Memory Matters, and our FREE help and support advice Hub, which is located above the café.

During the current crisis, we are continuing to support as many people as we can over the phone and online, (including our free dementia advice service) however, because the café is closed, we are not gaining any revenue to be able to continue this support once the pandemic is over.

“It means the world having a phone call, I really miss the Cafe and the lovely friendly atmosphere. Not many places would bother, but it shows you see us as part of the family. Being able to talk to someone means so much.” – Café customer, Maureen.

We are currently looking into funding for our customers to get iPads, so they can still see each other for their morning coffees, without it merely just being a chat over the phone. Mental health issues will be rising as this difficult time continues, and we want to make sure we are doing all that we can to keep the vulnerable people in our community connected and feeling loved. Any funds raised from our Crowdfunder will primarily go towards this becoming a reality, and helping the lonely and vulnerable to be able to communicate face-to-face.

These are definitely uncertain times, and we are not sure how long the café will be closed for. We need your help to keep us going so that we can continue to support our customers and our staff.

We are reaching out to you to help us raise funds so that we are able to re-open our Moments Café and Memory Matters Hub. This will enable us to resume our support for the general public, and it will also enable Memory Matters to continue their free support and advice service for people in our community, who are affected by dementia or memory loss.

We are now asking you to support us, while we continue to support you.

You can donate to our Crowdfunder page by clicking here.

Moments Goes Global


We’ve had some international visitors recently. On Friday 28th June, we met Tomki Kaneko and Fuji Nakatsuka who represent a dementia organisation in Japan. They travelled to the UK to search for ways that they can improve dementia friendly communities within their own city. They came to visit us at the Café so they could witness all the amazing work that we do and gain lots of inspiration. We really enjoyed having them here with us, and you never know – there may be a Moments Café in Japan one day! Tomki and Kaneko were joined by Ian Sheriff from the Alzheimer’s Society and Kate Smith, the joint CEO and Co-Founder of Moments Café and Memory Matters.



And on Wednesday 24th July, we met Myung Lee and Karen Dahl, two ladies from New York. Myung and Karen work for a non-profit organisation called Cities of Service. They help Mayors build stronger cities by changing the way local government and citizens work together. Cities of Service have received more than one hundred applications for their 2019 ‘Engaged Cities Award’ from organisations across America and Europe. After much consideration they have managed to narrow it down to just 10 FINALISTS and Plymouth is one of them; what a great achievement that is for us a community. Myung and Karen were also joined by members of Plymouth City Council as well as Kate Smith, the joint CEO and Co-Founder of Moments Café and Memory Matters.


Three Peaks Challenge

Helping to Support Memory Matters


Memory Matters South West CIC is a Community Interest Company, based in the South West of England. The organisation is run by qualified nurses and social entrepreneurs, Laura Walker and Kate Smith. Memory Matters helps to improve the lives of people living with dementia through CST (Cognitive Stimulation Therapy) workshops, as well as Moments, our Community Café in Plymouth. We trade for public benefit rather than private gain and all of our projects and services are designed, developed and built on the needs of those living with dementia.

On Saturday 6th July 2019, Daron (Laura’s Husband) and Tom and Joe (Laura’s Brothers), embarked on the National Three Peaks Challenge. Within the space of 24 hours they climbed Ben Nevis (Scotland), Scafell Pike (England) and Snowdon (Wales). The trio had never done anything like this before, but they were happy to accept the challenge – even on one of the hottest days of the year!

They decided to climb the Three Peaks so they could raise money for Memory Matters and support Laura as a wife as well as a sister. They have witnessed the hard work both Laura and Kate have put into the company over the past 10 years and they want to help them continue on this path, so they are able to carry on supporting people living with dementia.

Daron, Tom and Joe have managed to raise £695 as a result of their amazing achievement and we are so grateful for their support. You can still help them raise money for this fantastic cause by clicking here. All donations will be appreciated, however big or small. Every little helps!

Memory Matters Fundraising Ball

Celebrating 9 Years of Memory Matters

On Saturday 13th July, 60 people gathered at Grosvenor Casino to celebrate 9 years of Memory Matters. We teamed up with National Express to create a Fundraising Ball full of fun, good food and great entertainment. The tables were decorated with balloons in our brand colours green and grey, along with miniature National Express buses that were used for the auction and a large centre piece from a deck of cards. After much preparation and planning, the evening finally arrived. Guests were greeted with a glass of champagne on arrival followed by welcome speeches and a delicious two course meal. Dinner consisted of either Steak, Salmon, Sausage and Mash or a variety of Pasta dishes, followed by Chocolate Torte, Waffles, Berry Mousse Cake and a selection of different Ice Creams for dessert.

After dinner, we enjoyed a raffle and an auction (with some AMAZING prizes), and then some guests wandered into the casino to use their free £5 bet, whilst others enjoyed listening to the live music. Everyone had a great time and we were overwhelmed with the support we received. So much so, we managed to raise just under £2,000 (including the money raised from the Three Peaks challenge). Thank you to everyone who attended our Fundraising Ball, and we also want to say a huge thank you to anyone who donated prizes for our raffle and auction – we wouldn’t have been able to do it without you.

You can see some pictures of the event below.

The BBC visits Moments

We were DELIGHTED to be part of the BBC News Crossing Divides scheme. You may have seen a few familiar faces on the news last week… 👀

Part of this programme was filmed in Moments Café and the passengers on the bus are some of our very lovely staff and volunteers, including Kate the joint CEO of Memory Matters South West Community Interest Company.

We love working alongside Plymouth Citybus as they share a similar ethos to us. We’re both very passionate about tackling loneliness within the community, whether that’s through the support we provide at our Café or alternatively on a bus journey around the city 🚌

The short news piece was inspired by the 1998 movie ‘Sliding Doors’. It highlights the fact that one simple moment, or one decision can make such an impact on your day.

There were two different scenes – in the first scene we saw 3 different people getting onto a bus, they all went and sat in different places and they were too busy looking at their phones to even notice each other. 

However, in the second scene, the same 3 people started to interact with other members of public on the bus. They were all chatting and laughing. The whole atmosphere on the bus had completely changed – everyone seemed happy!

 “We could learn a lot from each other if just we spoke to one another.”

You can read more >> here

Not All Heroes Wear Capes


Moments Café now has AUTOMATIC DOORS!

Here at Moments Café, we are always overwhelmed by peoples generosity, and Martin and his team from Doorcare South West Ltd have definitely gone above and beyond to support the Café recently. As all of our customers know, we try to be as inclusive and accessible as we can. Our main aim is to reach out and support as many people as possible.

Since opening in March 2017, we have really struggled to create funding that will enable us to install doors that will allow people who may be wheelchair dependant or customers that have pushchairs, to be able to easily access the Café.

When Martin came to visit the Café a few months ago, he bumped into an old work colleague, who he did not realise now has dementia. Martin felt overwhelmed with the support that the Café provides to people in the local community who are living with dementia and he said that he wanted to help us out by installing automatic doors.

We cannot thank Martin and his team enough  for their hard work and support. All of this was done for us out of the kindness of their hearts! These new doors will make an incredible difference to our customers’ experience and will make the Café EASILY accessible to ALL.

Plymouth Herald Business Awards 2019

Winners of Plymouth Herald Business Awards 2019 – Social Enterprise Award

We are currently celebrating winning the Social Enterprise Award 2019 at the Plymouth Herald Business Awards, which took place at Plymouth Pavilions on Friday 17th May.

Emma (Café manager) and Damian (Assistant Manager) proudly represented Moments Café and Memory Matters at the Awards Ceremony.

This award, along with the Customer Service Award we previously won in October 2017, is an amazing achievement for the Café and our staff. Winning these awards will massively help to spread the word about Moments Café and the amazing work that we do.

Being a Social Enterprise and priding ourselves as being a Café with a social conscience, it is great to be recognised for the difference that we make in the community. We do this by supporting people through the Café, and also in our Memory Matters Information Hub which is located above the Café.

Moments Café originally opened in March 2017 as a ‘Dementia Friendly’ Café, with all profits going to Memory Matters. Since opening, the Café has thrived into so much more than we ever expected. Not only do we help people who may need advice and support about Dementia, but we also provide a ‘safe space’ for anyone who will benefit from a warm, friendly and spacious environment.

We host a variety of different social groups in the Café and also the Memory Matters Hub upstairs. A couple of examples are the ‘Knit and Knatter’ group who meet every Friday and Plymouth Autism Hub who meet every Tuesday.

We also provide a ‘Buy it Forward’ scheme, which enables members of the public to donate money towards food and drinks for those less fortunate than themselves; which they can then claim in the Café. This gives our customers a chance to give back to their community, but it also provides a safe and comfortable place for someone to come and enjoy a homemade meal, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to do so.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us along our journey, and long may it continue.

From all of us at Moments Café


Moments Made National News

Memory Matters Hub above Moments Café

The Guardian ran a fantastic piece on Social Enterprises in Plymouth and Moments Café were interviewed about the work that we do in our Memory Matters Hub. We are not your average high street Café; we support those affected by memory loss and dementia. And one of the gentlemen we have supported is Luke. Luke is a young man with memory difficulties following a brain tumour – you can read his story here.

Charity Golf Day


On 25th August 2017, Nick Barnes and Steve Deaton from Enviroglaze South West Ltd organised a charity golf day at the stunning Elfordleigh Golf Club. The aim was to raise as much money as possible to support people living with dementia.

The idea was that local businesses sponsored a hole each and took part in the competitive golf day. The day consisted of 18 teams of 4 playing golf, throughout the day and all sorts of games, like beat the pro, nearest the pin, longest drive etc. The golf took up most of the day, and after the last group came in, there were a few drinks, but the day didn’t stop there!

Image credit: Jim Merry Photography

In the evening there was an acoustic band and drinks. The presentation started for the winners of the various activities during the day. Then followed by a raffle, an auction, drinks and dancing.

A wonderful day filled with laughs and to top it off raising £2,500. Santander Bank kindly offered to match fund this amount bringing the total raised to £5000. A stunning amount to be shared between the two chosen recipients – Memory Matters/Moments Café and Dementia UK.

Enviroglaze South West Ltd – the organisation and running of this event was supported by many different people including Hayley Deaton, Hayley Stevenson and Gloria Read, not to mention all the brilliant businesses and organisations that sponsored holes, the people that bought raffle tickets and everyone that came along during the day and evening.

Memory Matters/Moments Café would like to say a special thank you to them all.

Moments Café opened in March 2017. The idea behind Moments Café is to ensure that the public have a better understanding of dementia, know where to go to get on the spot support and also to enable this support to be sustainable.

In the first six months, 60 people attended the information centre for support and advice. If Moments was not there, they may have visited their GP to get advice or support. Every GP appointment costs the NHS £117 pounds so by providing this service at the Café not only supports people on the spot, without an appointment but it saves the NHS money.

The team at Moments use any surplus from the Café to enable them to provide this help and we also rely heavily on the fundraising to enable us to continue to do this. Without fantastic supporters like Stevey and Nick from Enviroglaze SW Ltd this would not be possible.