Penryn Memory Cafe
Cornwall, UK
2015 - present

Winner of Andy Hocking Award: Excellent Contribution to Community Engagement
Winner of NUS Community Project of the Year
As part of MA Illustraton: Authorial Practice Ellie set up double-award winning Penryn Memory Cafe in September 2015 for people living with dementia & their carers in the local community. Now 4 years old, the cafe supports over 20 people living with dementia and their carers, employing local artists, researchers and makers to entertain the guests. It also hosted the ground-breaking project Passing the Parcel, funded by Awards for All - Big Lottery & FEAST.

Ellie designed Penryn Memory Cafe to be as person-centered as possible. From the choice of colours used in the furnishings, to the layout of the space & timetable of each event, the cafe works for the members first and foremost. For example, one of the members used to own & run the local Costcutter shop and therefore handling money is something he is very much familiar with. Recognising this, Lewis was invited to run the raffle, enabling him to take an active role at the cafe, enhancing his self-confidence and independence.

The cafe is supported by both local and student volunteers, from Falmouth & Exeter universities. From Ellie’s prior experience of running York’s Memory Cafe 2011-2014, she was passionate about creating a space where students and older people in the community come together, mutually benefiting.

As part of MA, Ellie wrote memory cafe, capturing the research and practice-based research she completed as she set-up the cafe. The book asserts the role of illustration at the memory cafe, pushing the boundaries of what illustration can be defined as and how it is possible to empower people with dementia through creative practice.

You can purchase memory cafe by contacting Ellie. Price: £25.