Why Cafés?

In 2016, we were founded with the purpose of improving the wellbeing of people living with dementia. Inextricably linked to these people are their carers, family and community. We thought, what better way to harness and expand on these connections than through a café? An environment where people can come together for some relief, fun, conversation and shared experiences.

We achieved this by establishing intimate, volunteer-led social groups (cafés) which are located in local community houses, churches or lifestyle clubs.


The second iteration of this concept evolved from necessity with Covid-19 making it impossible to meet in person. We are now meeting online, which comes with its own perks such as joining in the community from the comfort of your own home. Each of these virtual groups are designed to decrease the feelings of isolation and keep those connections strong. Members also have access to WhatsApp groups so they can chat throughout the week and these have proven to be very popular.
Umbrella Dementia Cafés actively support these venues to provide the best café experiences possible for our members. In order to join, please register below. We would love to meet you.

All Umbrella Dementia Cafés are built on four core principles:


For people living with dementia, autonomy is often one of the first things lost. The activities and programs in each café are designed for members to rediscover their autonomy - They are encouraged to make independent choices following the philosophy ‘to do with, not for’


We open up the conversation about dementia and socially connect people in a positive, safe environment. We encourage members to collate ideas of living better and longer at home through shared knowledge, technology, research and innovation. Members are also connected with professionals or local businesses when needed.


Everyone involved in the community receives information and education about dementia, our cafés, how dementia diseases can be supported and what services or programs are available locally. We use the community in its entirety to bring about this awareness; including young people, local businesses and large national organisations.


We provide environments that adapt to people experiencing dementia- not the other way around. The café community understands how to include and engage with people living with dementia and is actively educating the volunteers, members and local businesses in how to do the same.

What to Expect






Blackburn  |  Umbrella Café

One Community Church, 184 Surrey Road, Blackburn
Blackburn, our first café site, is centred around togetherness, with a community of members who enjoy participating in social activities as a group. We meet in one large light filled room and share ideas of what to do together such as dancing, gardening, writing, learning how to use technology or devices and on occasion, welcoming the local school kids. Storytelling, bingo and singing have been a focus of this community’s online catch ups.

Blackburn North  |  Koonung Café

Koonung Cottage Community House, 109 Koonung Road, Blackburn North
This café is a quieter one, with a variety of different rooms and tables in the house that are focused on solo activities with little clubs being developed around the house according to shared interests. It’s a perfect environment for encouraging members to connect over like minded hobbies. Every Wednesday, the Cottage café does online catch ups where you can participate in a gentle yoga session together.

Box Hill South  |  Café Of Connections

Box Hill South Neighbourhood House, 47 Kitchener Street, Box Hill South
This group have called themselves ‘café of Connections’ after launching with success in August, 2019. Since then, they have met every month for lunch and will continue to meet twice monthly in 2020. The second meeting of the month is an afternoon tea with a focus on physical exercise. Since moving online, this community enjoys storytelling and cooking classes together.

Rosebud  |  Friendship Café

Seawinds Community Hub, 11a Allambi Avenue, Rosebud
The Rosebud community are a social group who want to stay connected to their local community, meet new friends, have fun, understand dementia better, share experiences and find support in each other. Themed activities including dressing up and quizzes have been enjoyed whilst gatherings have taken place online.

Sorrento  |  Sorrento Café

Sorrento Community Hub, 860-868 Melbourne Road, Sorrento
Building a brand-new Umbrella Dementia Café takes a village! So, we’ve joined forces with the team at Sorrento Community Centre, the inclusive community experts, to create their very own café for their local couples experiencing dementia both ONLINE and in person. Our cafés will be for people who just want to feel connected and have the chance to share experiences with other people living the same shaky dementia journey.

Burwood  |  Cafe Title

Bennettswood Neighbourhood House, 7 Greenwood Street, Burwood
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If our cause is as close to your heart as it is ours, you may wish to join our community of volunteers. Giving back in a meaningful way can be incredibly rewarding. You will actively be improving lives and contributing to the wider community of people experiencing dementia.

Please note that due to COVID-19 we are unable to take volunteer applications at this time. Sign up to our newsletter below for any updates.