Lisa recently spoke at a Volunteering Forum on the 20th April at Hendon Town Hall to 30 care home managers and other professionals. She spoke about her recent initiative which was agreed by the Health and Wellbeing Board to provide volunteers with language skills day or night into care homes and other organisations. Lisa identified this need through her Care Quality Commission inspection visits to care homes.

As our population grows and becomes more diverse, some care home residents cannot speak English (even if they did speak it before they were diagnosed with Dementia). They may not be receiving the right care because care staff are unable to understand their needs. This affects mostly dementia sufferers as they revert back to their mother language. The need is far greater at night when care staff in care homes are reduced. Lisa is delighted that Volunteering Barnet will now be able to provide specialist volunteers with language skills to help in care homes.

If you are interested and would like to volunteer please either go to http://www.volunteeringbarnet.org.uk/about-us

or telephone: 0300 365 9960

10am – 4pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays)

In today's session Kevin played Family Fortunes with the members as last time which they all enjoyed and also in addition played another quiz naming the song title and artist from a line in a song.

Dementia Club UK volunteer Kevin taking a quiz
Dementia Club UK volunteer Kevin taking a quiz

This was quite challenging but fun. Lisa then did exercises and some singing and some members got up to dance. This then followed with some poetry reading and then the usual activities and feed back session.

Members enjoyed talking about their Easter break and family experiences.

Thank you to Kevin our volunteer for taking the first part of the session. It was lovely to see our nurse Karen today who interacted with members and took some blood pressures. Thank you to our volunteer Melvyn for helping out in the session and also to James one of the carers for helping out today.

This was our first session after the official launch on 13th March. For this session Malcolm the manager of Stephens House and Gardens gave a presentation about the history of Stephens House and Gardens. He gave a very interesting talk with a slide show and also presented on a table several items of memorabilia of the original owner of the house. He also spoke about a statue of Spike Milligan who is sitting on a bench in the gardens and people from around the world come and get their photo taken with 'Spike'.

Malcolm giving presentation on Stephens House and Gardens
Malcolm giving presentation on Stephens House and Gardens
Stephen House and Gardens memorabilia
Stephen House and Gardens memorabilia

This was also our first Outreach session with our partners from Barnet Carers. Maivel attended for this session accompanied with our own Dementia Club UK Dr Angela. This enabled carers to have a private chat with either Maival or Dr Angela which proved very successful.

Lisa thanked Malcolm and also mentioned to everybody that the Mayor of Barnet's recent Civic Awards, Andy Savage was recognised for his service to the Avenue House Estate Trust and friends of Stephens House and Gardens. He secured funds through grants and fund raisers.

The session followed with Moshe entertaining which everyone enjoyed including activities in one part of the room where some of the men enjoyed playing golf and darts.

Games at Stephens House and Gardens with Dementia Club UK
Games at Stephens House and Gardens with Dementia Club UK
Playing Catch
Playing Catch
Conga Dance proves popular
Conga Dance proves popular

My thanks go to the Rotary volunteers, Valerie, Jeff, Michael, Stephen and Kuljit and also to regular volunteers Theresa and Dr Angela. We would like to thank Risson for his continued help setting up and serving the tea and coffee to members.

Table setup ready for Dementia Club UK session at Finchley Memorial Hospital
Tables setup ready for Dementia Club UK session at Finchley Memorial Hospital

In this session members enjoyed painting Easter eggs. They were provided with a kit which included sequins, felt shapes paints and coloured felt tip pens. Members were given the choice to decorate their eggs and take them home, do nothing and take the eggs home to eat or try to hit their eggs with another person to see who the winner is. This is the tradition for the Greek Cypriot Easter.

Finished painted easter eggs
Finished painted Easter eggs by members
James and Helen presenting their eggs
James and Helen presenting their eggs before their battle

The winner in this challenge was James.

The session then followed with Tai Chi with Egon and then some singing and dancing and our usual feedback session at the end and jokes.

Stephen Rabin a volunteer gave a short talk to the members about the Jewish Festival of Passover. He explained that it occurs around the same time as the Easter festival each year. The talk explained that the festival was to commemorate the departure by the Israelites from Egypt as told in the Old Testament of the Bible.

The festival which lasts 8 days is marked, on the evening before the first day, by a religious service at home called a Seder which in Hebrew means Order. All Jews around the world would conduct the service in the same way, hence Order, and the service would conclude with a meal. It was also explained that during the 8 day festival Jews are not permitted to eat food where yeast has been allowed to rise.

During the talk a Seder Plate was shown which is usually used during the service. It is often decorated with motifs where the 6 items used during the the Seder service are placed.

Stephen talks about the Seder Plate
Stephen talks about the Seder Plate

The festival ends on the evening of the eighth day when it is again permitted to start to eat leavened items such as bread.

Everyone enjoyed dancing to James Le Bec musical entertainment and celebrated Marina and Andreas 55 years wedding anniversary. Session followed with activities as usual - Table tennis, darts and golf and singing

Everyone enjoyed dancing to James Le Bec musical entertainment and celebrated Marina and Andreas 55 years wedding anniversary
Everyone enjoyed dancing to James Le Bec musical entertainment and celebrated Marina and Andreas 55 years wedding anniversary

Tasoulla, Spiros and Andreas
Tasoulla, Spiros and Andreas