Memory Lane Cafe News


Memory Lane Cafe Calderdale is delighted to announce that June Harvey, our Cafe Co-ordinator and Volunteer Manager, has been named as one of 490 Platinum Jubilee Champions by the Royal Voluntary Service. Also, she was one of 70 who were selected to be invited to attend the Platinum Party at the Palace on Saturday 4th June followed by the Big Jubilee Lunch with the Duchess of Cornwall at The Oval on Sunday 5th.

This well-deserved nomination reflects her work in establishing,  running and developing the cafe, expanding its reach, fostering our volunteer team and inspiring others to develop similar cafe operations.

Congratulations June!!


We’ve been running morning and afternoon cafes (of 2 hours each) since September 2020. We began to do this because of legal (COVID) limits on the numbers we could have in the room and we’ve continued so as to optimise space between people. We’ve been able to continue to operate these “double” cafes for the past 18 months through the efforts and dedication of our wonderful volunteer team.

From the start of May 2022 we’ll revert to our pre-COVID arrangement of afternoon-only sessions (1.30-4pm). They’ll run for two and a half hours – just as we did before COVID. We want to make the most of this extra half hour – so we’re asking all of our members what they’d like to do.

Whilst COVID certainly hasn’t gone away, we are confident that we can operate safely with larger numbers in a single session. Now that winter is over we’ll focus on ventilating the room to improve air flow (also using a Carbon Dioxide monitor to measure air quality during the cafe).

We’ll continue to sanitise tables and other surfaces. Hand-sanitiser will still be provided.

We have ended the requirement for people to wear masks – but people may, of course, choose to wear them.

Our first afternoon-only cafes (1.30 – 4pm) of 2022 will start at Boothtown (4th May) and Sowerby Bridge (14th May).

Thanks to all our members and volunteers for staying with us through the trials and tribulations of the past two years.

June Harvey

Cafe Co-ordinator

07920 549131


29 NOVEMBER 2019

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve reopened our cafes. During Lockdown we developed new ways of supporting our members but we have also been working hard to plan for a safe reopening. This work included detailed Risk Assessments of everything we do so that we can be sure that cafes are safe for everyone. Each of our volunteers have completed training on the new working and hygiene arrangements before they resume their duties.

We are determined that everyone will have a safe and enjoyable time at Memory Lane.

Naturally, whilst the pandemic continues, we’ve had to make changes to the way we run our cafes:-

  • You’ll need to book in advance (we have to limit the number of people in the room)
  • Our volunteer team will have completed a thorough clean before we open and you’ll find plenty of hand sanitiser around the building for you to use as often as you want
  • we’ve aired the room before you arrived and (depending on the weather) we’ll keep a window or two open during the cafe.
  • Our volunteers will be protecting you by wearing masks and using tongs for serving unwrapped cakes.
  • A volunteer will meet you at the cafe entrance and show you the hand sanitiser
  • The volunteer will then show you to your allocated table on which you’ll find a welcome pack of information, games and the quiz
  • Your seat will be socially-distanced from others so please do keep to your allocated seat.
  • Refreshments will be served to you at your table by our volunteers – there’s no need to get up
  • Board games and jigsaws are available (but not for general sharing) – please ask if you’d like to use any of these

We’ve worked hard to make sure that the cafes are still fun – just different! You’ll find the usual great mix of games, information, support, cakes, company and conversation.

If you want to know more about any aspect of our newly-reopened cafes  please call our Cafe Co-ordinator (June) on 01422 706373 or 07920 549131 or email:–

Becoming A Charity

Memory Lane Cafe has been running in Sowerby Bridge since February 2016 and , since August 2017, in Halifax . As our services have  developed we have grown  and so, earlier this year, we applied to the Charity Commissioners to become a registered charity. On June 1st we were granted our registration as “Memory Lane Cafe Calderdale” (registration number 1178595). You can look us up on the Charity Commissioners website but we won’t be letting that go to our heads. Our enthusiastic team of volunteers will continue to welcome you to our cafes in the same way as we have since 2016.

Quality For Health

At Memory Lane Cafe we have always strived to provide the services that people want. Last year we were invited to  register for “Quality for Health” (quality assurance system for providers of health services)  This required us to explain what we do, how we do it, and what the benefits are. In May we made our application (supported by a lot of evidence). In June our Halifax cafe was visited by an assessor who met and spoke with members and volunteers. A few days later, we received the news that we had passed. On July 4th, Dipika Kaushal (Chief Executive Officer of Voluntary Action Calderdale) visited our Halifax cafe to present the award to us . All in all, this award is a really great compliment to everybody in our team of great volunteers.

Supporting Carers

As part of Carers Week in June Memory Lane Cafe, together with Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Bluebird Care, Calderdale Carers and Staying Well hosted a Carers Event in Halifax. The day  included various relaxation therapies, advice and   information, a buffet lunch and entertainment. Home-made cakes were provided by Wendy Mertens (who regularly bakes for Sowerby Bridge cafe) and the musical entertainment came from singer Tony Austin (pictured). Some carers took advantage of the sitting service offered by  Calderdale Carers whilst others came with their cared-for. A total of forty people attended and we plan to do something similar next year (and also maybe sooner too!).

Big Band Concert Trip

In 2018, we have begun to organise minibus trips to various events. We now have our own volunteer driver (Martin Whelehan) and we are able to make use of one of the Maurice Jagger Centre minibuses when not otherwise needed by the Maurice Jagger Centre. Earlier this year we have been to a Brighouse & Rastrick band concert and we have also used the minibus for transport to/from cafes. More recently, in June, St Hilda’s Church in Pellon  held a concert by The Flashbacks Big Band. Martin, our volunteer driver, picked up the Maurice Jagger minibus for the afternoon to take a group of us along to enjoy an afternoon of music from the likes of Glenn Miller and Irving Berlin.  Not only did we all enjoy the music, several took to the floor to dance.