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

Today's session started with a short talk and introduction of our volunteers from the Japan Society, Mrs Kyoko Delaforce, Mrs Hisako Fukushige, Mrs Naomi Ishikawa, Mrs Hiroko Tanaka, Mr Shigeo Tanaka and Mrs Naoko Heckle of the Society. Our special guest, Mr Michael Hodge, incoming Rotary District Governor of London was welcomed and he expressed his pleasure to be with us.

Our Japanese visitors, volunteers and special guest Michael Hodge incoming Rotary District Governor of London
Our Japanese visitors, volunteers and special guest Michael Hodge incoming Rotary District Governor of London

This was followed by rajio taiso, (radio exercise ) a mild warm-up exercise which improves circulation and flexibility, energises and improves overall health. Members joined the volunteers from the Japan Society, London in the exercise.

Origami items
Origami items

Next was the demonstration of origami, the Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and this art has been found to stimulate the brain, improves cognitive skills and has overall therapeutic benefits. Again, members were engaged and produced helmets which they placed on their heads in excitement.

Members trying on their Origami Hats
Members trying on their Origami Hats

A presentation on Japanese lifestyle and culture was made by Mrs Delaforce and then members were dressed in Kimonos, the Japanese cultural attire. This part of the session was followed by exercises, singing and dancing as usual. 

Displaying various Japanese traditional clothing
Displaying various Japanese traditional clothing

 

Beautiful red silk kimono
Beautiful red silk kimono

 

Members with our guests at Dementia Club UK
Members with our guests at Dementia Club UK

Many thanks to Annette for organising today and thank you to our volunteers Tija, Theresa and our new volunteer Darica who is doing a medical degree and of course appreciation to Ms Hiroko Kimura, Head of Education Department, the Japan Society for coordinating the volunteers and Abi Ajoni for helping with the equipment and power point presentation.

The Time Series of Newspapers did an article on the Japanese day, click on the image below to read.

Times Series article on Dementia Club UK
Times Series article on Dementia Club UK

Today was an arts and crafts session.

I showed members how to make flowers out of pink tissue paper and I also showed them how to make a boat out of paper. All members enjoyed making these and using colours to paint their boats.

Arts and Crafts at Dementia Club UK
Arts and Crafts at Dementia Club UK

The members were then asked to talk about a happy/sad or interesting event from their past. We heard some interesting stories.

The session then followed with exercise to music. As a change I played some reggae music which was really enjoyed. We did our usual singing/dancing which then followed by activities. I introduced a new game today - bowls which members enjoyed in addition to the table tennis and golf putting.

Carpet bowls at Dementia Club UK
Carpet bowls at Dementia Club UK

The session finished with a couple of jokes.

Thank you to Theresa our volunteer for helping today.