Mark Francois MP attends launch of Memory Lane Café in Hockley

Rayleigh and Wickford MP, Mark Francois, took time on a busy constituency Saturday, to attend the launch of the new ‘Memory Lane Café’, at the Hockley and Hawkwell Day Centre, behind Hockley Library.

The café, which was the brainchild of local community activist, Eileen Gadson, is designed to provide a meeting place, once a month, for carers of those people who are suffering from dementia and also for those who they are caring for as well. The idea, is that both carers and cared for, can meet up on a regular basis at the centre, to offer each other mutual support and to share best practice, in caring for elderly relatives and loved ones.

The café is in someway similar in concept to the Rayleigh Carers Café, which has operated for some years from Rayleigh Baptist Church in the High Street and the organisers of which, won a Queens Award for Voluntary Service, back in 2017. The Hockley café was also supported by a number of local councillors, including Cllr Laureen Shaw, Cllr Phil Shaw, Cllr Julie Gooding and Cllr Simon Wootton.

Speaking about his visit to help launch the new Memory Lane Café, Mark Francois MP said:

“I have been to the Rayleigh Carers Café a number of times down the years and have seen how popular it is with the local caring community and so it is very good to know that a similar enterprise is now running in the Hockley/Hawkwell area as well. Because the Memory Lane Café focusses on carers with relatives suffering from dementia, I was impressed that they had laid out on the tables many items of memorabilia – some of them dating back to the Second World War – in order to try and jog people’s memories and help them to recall events of yesteryear. I think this café is a great idea and I would like to congratulate Eileen Gadson and all her helpers, including a number of local councillors on their efforts and I wish this new valuable community facility every possible success in the future.”