We had a tremendous response to our first virtual Dementia Club session today with 37 participants with their families which equated to about 70 people engaged in the session.

Lisa did her usual welcome which initiated a lot of waving and everybody chatting and trying to talk at the same time. It was lovely to see so many familiar and new faces after such a long lock down. It was very overwhelming for everybody.

Lisa running the first virtual session from her office
Lisa running the first virtual session from her office

Lisa then introduced our musical entertainer, James Le Bec who was pleased to see everyone. He did a number of favourite sing-a-longs and although everyone was muted during his performance you could see everyone was singing and waving their arms.

James then did his usual music quiz which everyone enjoyed. Everyone was un-muted for this part of the session which produced a lot of excitement from members shouting out answers.

Lisa then introduced Richard Kravetz who gave fun yoga chair exercises. It was hard work for some members due to the lack or exercise during lock down but there were still lots of smiles and laughter. Everyone thanked James and Richard for their fantastic performances.

To finish off Lisa read a couple of jokes as Lisa has always said to members "laughter is the best medicine" and finally got everyone to sing their favourite song - "She'll be be coming round the mountain", then wishing everyone a safe journey "home".

Due to the success of this session we will be running this every Wednesday at 3pm. We will consider more sessions if there is a demand.



Dear Members,

Be aware that opportunists and criminals can take advantage of the elderly and vulnerable who are self-isolating during this period of Coronavirus outbreak.

There are people calling door to door proclaiming to be carrying out Coronavirus testing at your home for you on behalf of NHS or you GP.

The NHS are NOT conducting any door to door initiatives in regards to testing individuals for the Coronavirus, these are thieves trying to get into your home.

If anyone knocks on your door proclaiming to be conducting the tests please call the Police.

Anyone being offered "kindness" by cold callers by way of running errands, collecting prescriptions and doing shopping should not accept services from STRANGERS who may ask for cash up front, a credit card and its PIN, or gain trust simply to execute a more elaborate scam.

Since February 2020, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified 21 reports of fraud where Coronavirus was mentioned, with victim losses totalling over £800k. Ten of these reports were made by victims that attempted to purchase protective face masks from fraudulent sellers. Reporting numbers are expected to rise as the virus continues to spread across the world.

Muz welcomed everyone today at the session and then introduced Lisa who gave a brief update about the next session on the programme this week.

Muz and Lisa then surprised Frances by presenting him with a cake to celebrate his birthday. All the members sang happy birthday to Frances which brought a smile to everyone’s face.

Today’s session was only a couple of days after International Women’s Day, so the theme of the activities was International Women’s Day. Muz and Faz introduced a colouring activity where members could use their creativity and imagination to colour in a paper shaped woman. There was also an International Women’s Day themed wordsearch for members to complete, whilst enjoying their teas, coffees and lovely cakes.

After the colouring and the wordsearch, there were two International Women’s Day themed games to keep members occupied. Firstly, there was a true or false quiz where members were given 15 facts. They had to decide whether they were true or false. Everyone loved playing the game and learnt some very interesting facts at the same time.

After the quiz, Faz read out a short article about the values of International Women’s Day. She then asked members to name the 10 values that represent International Women’s Day. Members managed to identify all 10 with a few leading clues to help them on their way.

After the games, Richard took over with seated exercise. Richard’s session was very topical as he called it “Corona Yoga”. The idea was to get people to find a new way to greet each other that means they don’t have to shake hands and touch one another. For example, there was one exercise where members were asked to tap their feet to say hello to each other. It was a novel and fun way to get everyone to stretch and exercise. Richard also got members to pretend washing their hands for 20 seconds singing the Happy Birthday song.

After Richard’s exercise session, members were entertained with a variety of games that included golf putting, table tennis, skittles and hoop tossing. Everyone had lots of fun with the variety of activities on offer. The session concluded with a sing-a-long of five classic songs which everyone really enjoyed. Lambeth Walk was the finale and went down really well. This was a very enjoyable session.

A huge and heartfelt thanks to our volunteers Annette and Radha. They were rushed off their feet today as there was so much to do. They were both utterly brilliant. Thanks also to Lisa, Faz and Muz for helping out today.

After the World Health Organisation has today declared a pandemic for the COVID-19 outbreak we have decided to suspend further Dementia Club UK sessions until further notice. We have done this with sadness but feel as our members are some of the most vulnerable people we should try and reduce their exposure to the risk of contact with those with the virus.

I found the following which I thought might be helpful, try and follow the following points and keep safe.

It was lovely to see quite a few members attend today at the Finchley Cricket Club. The daily news about the Coronavirus is depressing but members were determined to have a good time.

As usual the tables are organised by Julian and Jacqueline the hosts and also Jacqueline is busy making yummy sandwiches and cakes which are then distributed on each table. Members feel really spoilt when they are there.

Lisa welcomed everyone and then asked Julian to say a few words about an event at the Finchley Cricket Club on the 27th March. Lisa then distributed the ‘alphabet quiz’ again today and this time asked members to think of words to do with ‘Things that you can wear’ There were 5 tables and each table had to make sure the other table did not hear their words.

It was very competitive and some of the words were really imaginative and fun. As it was also ‘International Women’s Day ‘ yesterday, Lisa read out some poems, one of which was very funny and members enjoyed.

The session then followed with exercises with Eon and as usual Eon makes sure that everyone's exercises even the ones right at the back. It’s always great fun and everyone loves Eon.

The exercises lead on without any pause with music entertainment with Ian and today Ian also brought his dog Theo who is a good boy and loves the attention. As always Ian’s bubbly personality is electrifying and members soon are up and dancing. It was lovely to also see Julian dance with one of the members.

Thank you to Julian and Jacqueline for being perfect hosts and thank you to our only Rotarian today from Golders Green Sheila for attending and helping and of course to Mark.

Today will be remembered for a long time as Lisa had to sadly announce to members that all dementia clubs after today’s session will be suspended until further notice. The World Health Organisation announced that the Corona virus Covid-19 had now been declared a pandemic which means that the world is in crisis. Members were very sad as they so look forward to attending the dementia clubs but they all fully understood the gravity of the situation and agreed that I was doing the right thing taking precautions.

Lisa also mentioned to members that whilst there will not be any dementia clubs, she wanted to let them know that they could call her any time if they had problems to discuss and also just for a chat.

The session then continued after this sad announcement and Lisa gave members another A to Z quiz to do. This time they had to find ‘countries of the world’. The aim of course is to try and find a country that has not been named by the other groups. This proved to be very competitive but also very enjoyable. Some members also did some word searches which they also enjoyed.

We then celebrated 2 birthdays. Maria’s 95th birthday which was on the 6th and Terry’s 85th birthday which is on the 16th. As usual the birthdays are celebrated with Lisa providing cakes with a firework candle - the Dementia Club UK style. Everyone sang Happy Birthday to them both.

Lisa then introduced Arzu who brought 2 big boxes containing many small seedling kit boxes which were donated by the Marks & Spencer Manager. Members received a variety of seedling kits and Arzu explained what they needed to do to grow them. The variety included – Basil, Beetroot, carrot, Chilli pepper, Forget-me-not, Lettuce, Micro cress, Pancy, Parsley, Pepper, Radish and Viola.

It was then time for some music entertainment and it was lovely to see again Mike Marandi. Members who went to the Mickie Driver Variety Show on Valentine’s Day would have met him then. Mike was really entertaining and played some lovely music favourites which members enjoyed and danced to. Mike also had some colourful clothes outfits which one of the members was happy to wear and dance to. Mike was certainly full of surprises and made everyone laugh.

This was a truly wonderful session and everyone left with a smile. Thank toy my volunteers today Angela Chen, Arzu and of course Mark.