Today was the Jewish New Year so a few of the members were missing.

Lisa did a 1950’s quiz which brought back many memories and encouraged chatting amongst members.

Annalisa the exercise instructor then came and everyone was ready for exercises. Members have really taken to Annalisa as she makes exercising really fun.

 Annalisa makes exercising really fun
Annalisa makes exercising really fun

The session then followed with Helen Tierney who as usual always gets members to sing along to famous favourites. Members are always amazed at how Helen jumps from playing the keyboard, the accordion and the harp. She creates such an exciting atmosphere and this motivates members to get up dancing.

Helen plays the keyboard, accordion and the harp who as usual gets members to sing along to famous favourites
Helen plays the keyboard, accordion and the harp who as usual gets members to sing along to famous favourites

Everyone had a very happy afternoon.

This was a busy session as always. Members arrived and as usual enjoy to sit and chat amongst themselves enjoying the tea, coffee and cakes.

Lisa announced to members about 2 outings coming soon. There will be a repeat of the Ongar Steam Train and Afternoon Tea on the 22nd September and Christmas Afternoon Tea at Lord’s Cricket Ground on 9th December.

Lisa then informed members about an interesting article she read about the importance of feeding our brain with the right nutrients to increase the acetylcholine chemical in our brain. This means making sure our diet includes food bearing “healthy fats” – fatty fish, avocados and almonds are top sources. Other foods also include egg yolks, cream, fatty cheeses and liver. Although you don’t need to eat these foods to excess, depriving yourself of healthy fats on a long term basis can lead to an acetylcholine deficiency.

Lisa also mentioned that exercising our brains is important. We rely a lot on our diaries especially as we have a busy life. Trying to remember what we have added in our diaries is part of the exercise and also to try and remember our schedule for the day when we wake up.

We had visitor today – Claire Browning from CLCH Health Team Manager ‘Barnet Learning Disabilities Team’ who came to see the Tovertafel in action so that she could speak to other organisations and bring the groups to try out the Tovertafel.

We also had a surprise visit from Pollyanna Boothby Tucker who used to work in Marks & Spencer Whetstone. She brought in her little cute dog Lizzy for members to see. Everyone was very pleased to see Lizzy who was caressed by members.

Pollyanna is well known for raising funds for charities. She has shaved her hair 3 times for charities, had her bottom plastered and the resulting cast auctioned for the Barnet Carers Centre as well as taking part in a charity skydive.

Lisa then did a quick musical quiz giving members the first line of a song and asking them to name the title. This followed with Lisa reading some jokes which everyone enjoyed.

It was now time for the Tovertafel and everyone including our visitor Claire enjoyed the rest of the afternoon seeing all the various games.

This report is written by Session leader Justine:

"At the start of the session, the members were served tea, coffee and lovely biscuits and were happy chatting to each other.

After a short while, a lovely lady called Annalisa did some fun exercises with our members which everyone thoroughly enjoyed!

Annalisa putting the members through their paces
Annalisa putting the members through their paces

This was followed by a lively session of entertainment provided by the very talented James LeBec. James sang a variety of popular songs to which many of the guests and volunteers danced & he even did a music quiz where our members had to guess the name of the song! It was great fun!

One of our members was celebrating his birthday, Alfonso, and he was presented with a cake and we all sang Happy Birthday to him! After James left, the guests continued to chat and there was also table tennis, mini golf & darts! We were even treated to a lovely rendition of 'Strangers in the Night' sang by one of our lovely members, Terry!

Birthday Cake for Alfonso
Birthday Cake for Alfonso

26 guests and carers attended the session with the assistance of seven volunteers from the synagogue who were:- Justine, Stephen, Gilda, Dottie, Judy, Keith & Caroline."

MORE PICTURES TO FOLLOW

This was a very busy session as it was also celebrating a special 80th birthday for Andreas. Andreas's family members attended including a very special little guest – (Andreas’s 9 month old grandson also called Andreas). Marina brought a huge home-made birthday cake and lots of other savouries and refreshments.

Andreas about to blow out the candles on his birthday cake
Andreas about to blow out the candles on his birthday cake

This was such a special treat for all the members. Thank you Marina.

We also had a special guest today – Eugenia Dike (President Rotary Club Hendon). It was a pleasure to see Eugenia and all members made her feel very welcome.

Eugenia Dike, President Rotary Club Hendon & Lisa
Eugenia Dike, President Rotary Club Hendon & Lisa

 It was also a really lovely surprise to see Annette and Theresa (one of our regular volunteers who used to attend when Dementia Club UK started). We also had a new volunteer today called Carlos who was introduced through Volunteering Barnet.

There was so much excitement especially with the baby walking around in its baby walker greeting all the members with a smile.

After members had their cups of tea, it was time for some exercise as Jane had arrived. Jane introduced some Falls Prevention exercises today. Jane had no music today but this didn’t stop members from making their own music. Terry started to sing a music favourite and then Lisa started members singing “When the Saints go marching” followed by “Coming Round the Mountain”.

Jane introducing 'Falls Prevention' exercises
Jane introducing 'Falls Prevention' exercises

Members were then ready for the next part of the session with Moshe. Everyone always enjoys the music entertainment by Moshe.

We first sang Happy Birthday to Andreas in the usual Dementia Club UK fashion with the sparkler on the cake and then the cake was cut and distributed.

Andreas and his family
Andreas and his family

The singing and dancing then began which was electrifying as all the members were in a happy party mood.

Everyone had a really enjoyable session and thank you again to my volunteers attending today.

The day started with torrential rain but luckily by the time we were ready to set off at mid-day the rain had stopped and the sun was shining. What a great relief!

We had 40 members attending this trip. As the BCT buses can only take 28 members the rest of the members made their own way.

North London Society of Model Engineers volunteers waiting for us
North London Society of Model Engineers volunteers waiting for us

When we all arrived, there was no hesitation – members went straight to the trains and the train volunteers were ready to greet members and take them on board for their ride. In fact by the time the Fish and Chips were delivered, members had already had 3 train rides.

First ride of the day
First ride of the day

Everyone was then ready for their lunch as they really worked up an appetite. The Fish and Chips were really great. Lisa was very busy in the kitchen preparing and making sure members had everything they needed. Lisa is very grateful for the help she received in the kitchen from Valerie (one of our Rotarians from Golders Green and also a Trustee), Melvyn (one of our regular volunteers), Geraldine (one of our carers) and Mark (my husband and one of the Trustees).

When everyone finished their Fish and Chips, Lisa then served a variety of cakes and teas and coffees which went down a treat.

Members were then ready for another round with the trains.

It was a very successful and enjoyable afternoon and thanks must go to Dr Ian Johnston and his colleagues and volunteers who opened up especially for Dementia Club UK.

This is the train that took us to the car park where our buses where waiting
This is the train that took us to the car park where our buses where waiting

Ian said in an email to Lisa; “I felt that the men felt that their labours building the track and tunnel were rewarded by a very appreciative group of people. Thanks to you it all worked exceptionally well"