Ely woman thanks Starbucks staff for helping her in time of panic

Susan and Thomas King

Susan and Thomas King - Credit: Archant

An Ely woman has thanked staff at Starbucks for helping her in a time of panic when her husband, who has dementia, went missing.

Whilst Susan King attended an appointment in Ely Library, she went to Starbucks, in The Cloisters, to buy her husband Thomas a cup of coffee.

When she came out of her appointment, Mrs King could not find her husband.

The team on duty came to her aid and helped locate Mr King as he had gone for a walk outside, even though it was pouring with rain.

Mrs King said: “It meant such a lot to me. I was in such a panic and the Starbucks staff calmed the situation down.

“They didn’t hesitate to help me when I explained the situation, and money can’t buy that sort of help.”

Store manager Claire Crittenden said: “We want all of our customers to feel comfortable and confident in our stores, and able to ask for help if it is ever needed.

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“All of our baristas are always happy to help, and we are pleased we were able to assist Mr and Mrs King in what was a worrying situation.”

Starbucks Ely has since decided to hold some Dementia Friends awareness sessions to help understand situations that might arise in the future.

Hilary Shepherd, Dementia Action Alliance coordinator for Cambridgeshire, said: “Three quarters of UK adults think that society is not geared up to deal with dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Society report “Dementia 2012: a national challenge.

“By raising awareness of dementia in businesses, and encouraging them to act if they suspect a customer is anxious or confused, we can help to create a more understanding society for people living with dementia and their carers, allowing them to actively take part in community life as they have always done.

“The East Cambridgeshire Dementia Action Alliance is working directly with businesses in Ely, raising awareness of dementia and helping them to become more dementia friendly.”

For more information about the East Cambridgeshire Dementia Action Alliance contact Hilary Shepherd: hilary.shepherd@alzheimers.org.uk