Our first out of the Borough Dementia Club was launched today which was a great success. Many people attended.

Launch cake donated and made by head chef Juliana at Calton Court Care Home in Barnet
Launch cake donated and made by head chef Juliana at Calton Court Care Home in Barnet

It was a pleasure to welcome our special guests - The Elstree & Borehamwood Town Mayor Cllr Victor Eni and the Chairman of Saracens Nigel Wray. Other guests who attended was the President of the Rotary Club of Elstree & Borehamwood - Cllr Cynthia Barker and other Rotarian members and Councillors from Elstree & Borehamwood and Hertsmere & Hertfordshire Council.

Members of the Rotary Club of Elstree & Borehamwood
Members of the Rotary Club of Elstree & Borehamwood

Lisa welcomed everyone and then introduced the Mayor to say a few words before the cutting of the celebration cake. Lisa invited Nigel to also cut the cake together with the Mayor.

Lisa founder and chairman of Dementia Club UK, Mayor of Elstree and Borehamwood Cllr. Victor Eni and Nigel Wray Chairman of Saracens
Lisa founder and chairman of Dementia Club UK, Mayor of Elstree and Borehamwood Cllr. Victor Eni and Nigel Wray Chairman of Saracens

We are very grateful to the Head chef Juliana from Carlton Court Care Home in Barnet for making the cake and donating it to Dementia Club UK with a number of beautifully decorated cup cakes.

Richard then arrived to do some chair Yoga with everyone. Richard has a great way of making exercising great fun. It was then time for Elvis.

Pete Webb as Elvis is amazing and is always a great hit as he interacts with everyone.

Elvis (Pete Webb) serenades one of our members
Elvis (Pete Webb) serenades one of our members

The launch was a great success. Everyone enjoyed the buffet selection of M&S sandwiches and delicious cakes.

My thanks to my helpers Mark, Dr Angela and Valerie - Trustees of Dementia Club UK. My thanks to Marina and Andreas for helping with setting up and during the session. Many thanks also to Annette one of my experienced volunteer leaders who was also very helpful and introduced Nigel to the members. Thank you also to Melissa, Dr Angela’s friend who was also very helpful and is always the life of any party.

My thanks also to the staff at The Venue for setting up the tables and chairs. My thanks to the Hertfordshire County Council for giving us a small grant for this launch. Everyone had a great time and left with many smiles.

Today's session was led by Annette:

We had a great time as usual at the cafe yesterday. We spent the first half an hour on conversation about different questions that were picked by members.

The second half was spent on drawing and writing positive thoughts about themselves on magic sheets of paper.

Terry's birthday was celebrated with a birthday song and blowing out his candles.

Dennis turned up on time to entertain us all. Members sang and danced and we had a great time.

The sun always shines at Stevens house and gardens. Quite a few members attended to day.It was lovely to see Chrissy today after her mum recently passed away. Lisa gave her a warm welcome.

Lisa welcomed everyone and said she was leaving early as she had a meeting and therefore Mark and Valerie our two trustees ran the session. Lisa gave some advice regarding foot care and the importance of keeping our feet healthy before distributing today's quiz.

Richard the yoga instructor brought Karen his new trainee to observe the chair yoga class. We all enjoyed Richard's fun exercises. After the yoga finished the answers to the quiz were given.

Our thanks to Rotary members Kuljit and his wife Satwan, Dick and of course Valerie. Thanks also to Risom for looking after us with teas and coffee.

Members really enjoy attending the sessions at Copthall. Although this is a temporary venue until the new building is ready, members have great fun.

We also had 2 new volunteers join today - Stella and Zara. Lisa welcomed everyone and gave them some magic painting to do which they all enjoyed doing very much.

Lisa also did a short quiz about the year 1955. This was a year which was picked by one of the members. The questions for that year promted some very interesting events that took place during that year which members found interesting.

It was then time for Annalisa with her fitness exercises for members and today Annalisa wanted to concentrate on the lowere part of the body. Members always enjoy the exercises with Annalisa as she makes it fun.

It was then time for our music entertainment with James Le Bec and as usual this always gets members up and dancing. James' 'name that tune' and rolling the Dice is also great fun as the challenge is trying to get a number 6 in the throw so that we get a high score and beat other organisations. A great fun afternoon.

Thank you to Annalisa today for all her help in setting up and clearing up after and also Mark (one of the Trustrees) who helps throughout the session and all the lifting and carrying.

There were many people as usual today. Everyone first wanted to hear about Lisa’s Buckingham Palace visit and her meeting with Prince Charles. Everyone was pleased to hear about it.

We had a lovely surprise visit from Annette and Eleanor today. Everyone gave them both a warm welcome. Lisa welcomed all the members and began with informing members that today was Ash Wednesday which always follows after Shrove Tuesday. Lisa read out some examples of how various cultures celebrate Ash Wednesday which members found very interesting.

Lisa then introduced a visitor Neil Aitken from ‘The Wayback. Neil was just visiting today with a view to attending again at a future session to do a presentation of his product. Lisa asked Neil to introduce himself and mention briefly about the product which members found interesting. The product uses simple technology to show a virtual reality film designed to trigger memories and spark conversations for those living with dementia, their carers and loved ones. Neil went on to say:

The Wayback is a virtual reality film series designed to trigger memories and spark conversations for those living with dementia, their carers and loved ones. The 360-degree films immerse the viewer in incredibly detailed, recreated, positive moments from the past – which evoke the feelings that went with them - in order to create positive connections and conversations in the present. Using simple technology, our ambition is to share these films with as many people living with dementia as possible, their carers and families, helping them to remain connected to the people around them and maintaining their identity.

There was a birthday to celebrate today. Maria who attends with her husband Donato was celebrating her 94th birthday. As with the usual Dementia Club UK tradition of celebrating birthdays, Lisa brought out the birthday cake with the firework candle and everyone sang.

Lisa then introduced Lizzy’s poetry book called ‘A Poet’s Emotions’ by Liz Ragout which can be found here, Lizzy who is one of our new volunteers has written quite a few poems which have been published. Members applauded Lizzy and were very interested to hear a couple of the poems which Lisa read out.

Lisa followed with reading a few jokes which everyone loves and then it was time to introduce the special visitor Tess – a beautiful collie. She was brought by Niamh and Bill from Therapaws. Tess received a lot of attention from members as Bill was taking her around the room. All the members were delighted and Tess was even dancing with one of the members to music. Members definitely would like to see Tess again as she was a great hit with everyone.

The session then followed with Tovertafel and as usual this is always great fun for members. This was a very enjoyable session and everyone left with happy smiles.

Thank you to our volunteers – Mark (one of our Trustees), Melvyn, Lizzy, Annette and Eleanor.