We had over 30 members again today.

Kevin one of the volunteers who comes with his wife Olivia and his mother in law Mable took the activities part of the session today. He first played chicken charades which was very funny and then played Family Fortunes which again members really enjoyed.

Kevin playing the game 'Chicken Charades' with volunteer Melvyn
Kevin playing the game 'Chicken Charades' with volunteer Melvyn

The session then followed with poetry by Cllr John Hart who read some well known poems and also read one in French. Everyone enjoyed the poetry.

Cllr John Hart reading some French poetry
Cllr John Hart reading some French poetry

I took the opportunity to also talk to members about special religious holidays on Sunday 12th March. I told them about Purim which is a Jewish celebration where people wear fancy dress and drink lots of alcohol and Holi which is a Hindu celebration where people shower each other with coloured water and red and green powder. I also talked about the meaning of Lent which is observed by fasting 40 days and how with the Greek Orthodox religion we have the painting of eggs at Easter.

The last part of the session we had singing and also played catching the ball and then finished off with 5 minutes of stretching exercises and a 5 minute general discussion.

Thank you to Melvyn and Dr Angela our volunteers for their help at the session today and thank you to Olivia one of the carers for assisting.

This was the first session run by the volunteers at Sha'arei Tsedek. Our thanks to Gilder, Stephen, Justine, Judy, Keith and Dot. To commemorate this beginning new table cloths were purchased which all members appreciated.

Today the session was very busy with about 40 members. We had a presentation from Maivel Rodriguez Lopez - Senior Adult Carers Support & Outreach officer from Barnet Carers. Maivel explained how Barnet Carers offer advice and information to carers and also informed members of the partnership with Dementia Club UK. They will be attending at the Stephens House & Gardens venue once a month to offer advice and information to carers of Dementia Club UK which will be starting in April.

Maivel Rodriguez Lopez - Senior Adult Carers Support & Outreach officer from Barnet Carers
Maivel Rodriguez Lopez - Senior Adult Carers Support & Outreach officer from Barnet Carers

We also had a visitor today Anne Duggan-Family Liaison Manager from The Fremantle Trust. I invited Anne to say a few words. She explained The Fremantle Trust is a registered charity and not for profit business providing care and support services, residential care and day care services.

Anne Duggan-Family Liaison Manager from The Fremantle Trust at Dementia Club UK
Anne Duggan-Family Liaison Manager from The Fremantle Trust at Dementia Club UK

The session continued with exercise and dance followed by activities which everyone enjoyed. Thank you to Annette and Melvyn our volunteers for their help today. Thank you also to our doctor- Dr Angela attending and talking to some of the members.

New member Helen recites her favourite poem
New member Helen recites her favourite poem
This inspired David to recite his poem
This inspired David to recite his poem

Today at Dementia Club UK Annette ran the first half of the session, she introduced this session as "Communication".

She played some favourite songs with her record player and then she organised a table of different objects and photos and asked members to pick one object or photo which stimulated a memory and meant something to them.

Communication Table.
Communication Table.

Annette gave members some time to think before asking each member to talk about what the object meant to them. Members enjoyed listening to each members story and one new member decided to recite a poem which meant a lot to her. This activity was to encourage engagement so that the person living with dementia does not withdraw but participates in conversations and maintaining communication skills.

Andreas and his chosen item from the Communication Table
Andreas and his chosen item from the Communication Table

We also celebrated a birthday today. It was Joan's 90th birthday. It was a lovely surprise when the Mayor of Barnet Cllr David Longstaff also popped in to say hello. The Mayor stayed and talked to members who wanted a photo with The Mayor.

Joan who was 90 today with her daughter Tina and the Mayor of Barnet
Joan who was 90 today with her daughter Tina and the Mayor of Barnet
Volunteers from Barnet Council, Salar Rida and Caroline Glitre with Lisa and the Mayor of Barnet
Volunteers from Barnet Council, Salar Rida and Caroline Glitre with Lisa and the Mayor of Barnet

We also had 2 London Borough of Barnet council officers who visited today to volunteer. We had Mr Salar Rida - Governance officer Assurance Group and we also had Caroline Glitre - Head of Internal Audit. Members welcomed the volunteers and both volunteers enjoyed interacting with the members including singing and dancing and even enjoyed a Waltz.

The activities with the golf and table tennis was very popular as usual with members. Thank you to Annette for taking the first part of the session. Thank you also to Theresa our volunteer for helping throughout the session.

At a packed session at Finchley Memorial Hospital today with over 50 members which included some new members, we had a talk from Sarah Perrin, Prevention and Wellbeing Service Manager from Adults and Communities London Borough of Barnet.

She talked about strengths based practise which means "how adult social care is delivered" in Barnet. A strengths based approach is about supporting people to focus on what is working well and how to build upon their own strengths. Sarah also talked about Preventative Support Services and information and advice sessions held at Care Space's, which is in addition to what Barnet is already providing such as home visits.

One of the points Sarah mentioned which was received with interest by the members was that at Copthall Leisure Centre, Dementia Friendly swimming sessions will be starting for people with dementia and their carers from 28th Feb 2017.

Sarah Perrin from London Borough of Barnet advising how carers can get help.
Sarah Perrin from London Borough of Barnet advising how carers can get help.
Egon relaxing members of Dementia Club UK with some Tai Chi
Egon relaxing members of Dementia Club UK with some Tai Chi

Thanks also to Melvyn our volunteer and some of the carers for stepping in to help in this busy session today.