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.

Dementia Club UK members enjoyed a visit to the V&A museum on Valentines Day to see the Revolution exhibition which is about the 1960's.

Dementia Club UK members at the V & A to see the Revolution Exhibition
Dementia Club UK members at the V & A to see the Revolution Exhibition

We were very lucky and honoured to also be the first to use the new Barnet Community Trust 'BCT' buses which had illuminated signs on the front of the bus saying Dementia Club UK. The two vehicles provided by BCT were state of the art accessible vehicles, with no steps and a level floor to avoid trip hazards for those who have mobility difficulties. BCT was awarded these splendid 14 seat minibuses from the Department for Transport Community Minibus Fund – one of only 306 groups in the UK to be successful.

One of the latest buses from Barnet Community Transport
One of the latest buses from Barnet Community Transport
One of our DCUK members getting on the bus
One of our DCUK members getting on the bus

Members had to endure a lot of walking at the V&A but the V&A volunteers were really helpful and provided wheelchairs to those members that needed them. They were at hand to help all through the afternoon. We all enjoyed a talk and slide show by Anna our guide which was very interesting and then members had tea/coffee and delicious Valentine cup cakes before setting off for the tour.

It was a very interesting day and brought back many memories of the 1960's for members as they looked around the exhibition. Members were slightly sleepy back on the buses but they all felt it was a very worthwhile visit. Thank you to BCT for our drivers for providing members a first class journey. Thank you to Theresa, Melvyn, Gilda and Stephen our Dementia Club UK volunteers for helping members today.