A NEW café is opening in Poole tailored to cater to the needs of people suffering from autism and dementia.

James Hankins, 38, said he knew Poole needed a café like this after his partner’s sister, Sophie Bernardes, 31, who suffers from Autism, took him to one in Plymouth earlier in the year.

James said: “Sometimes in life you are lucky enough to find inspiration. My girlfriend’s sister is the inspiration behind this. The café is specially designed to facilitate people like her.

“I was blown away by the café in Plymouth. I ended up having a latte in a ball pit. I thought this has to happen in Poole.

“When the opportunity came up, I just went hell for leather to convert the space into one for customers who have autism to have a more chilled environment.”

The café is located on Birds Hill, attached to the nursing home, and will keep the name of Colin’s Nest, in memory of a former resident of the care home.

The Mayor of Poole, Marion Le Poidevin, will be attending the opening on December 7.

James continued: “We have looked at making sure the lighting is not too bright. We have taken all the sound out, so we won’t have music on.

“We are going to do the prep work before customers come in and each table will have a sensory theme.

“There will be a WWE table. We are going to have a Lego table. A table with lots of things to feel and a lighting table. We’ve wrapped a blackboard around a table so people can draw on it.”

Mayor Marion Le Poidevin said: “It’s good that Colin’s Nest is opening up to the community and providing facilities for all sorts of people to enjoy and benefit from.

“Bringing people together in a care environment can only be a good thing for everyone”