Today was our launch of Tovertafel to the community and the unveiling of the plaque. We had 2 special guests – The Mayor of Barnet Cllr Reuben Thompstone with his 4 year old Son Thomas supporting the Mayor and it was also a pleasure to welcome Theresa Villiers MP for Chipping Barnet and also our Patron for Dementia Club UK.

The Mayor of Barnet Cllr Reuben Thompstone and his 4 year old son Thomas unveiling the plaque
The Mayor of Barnet Cllr Reuben Thompstone and his 4 year old son Thomas unveiling the plaque

Other guests were;

  • Nigel Wray – Chairman of Saracens
  • Rose Degen – Saracens Charity Relationship Manager
  • Mehdi Bedioui – from Tovertafel (CEO & Co-founder of Shift 8 the company
  • Andrew Spiers – from Tovertafel –Sales Director
  • Kay Matthews – NHS Barnet Chief Operating officer
  • Ian Bretman – Lay Member for Patient and Public Engagement
  • Robyn Sandler – Communications & Engagement Manager for Barnet CCG
  • Alan Gavurin – Estates Lead & Managing Director, Damson Health
  • Representatives from Community Health Partnerships
  • Sarah Perrin – Lead Commissioner Mental health and Dementia
  • Cllr. Caroline Stock – Chairman of Health & WellBeing Board
  • Mathew Kendall – Director of Adults & Communities Services
  • Richard Healy – CEO Barnet Community Transport
  • Rotarians from Edgware & Stanmore and Hendon
  • Anne Duggan – from The Fremantle Trust
  • Mayana McDermott – from SENSE a National disability charity
  • Monique from The Alzheimer’s Society
  • Sasha Capocci – from The Studios Rotary Club Borehamwood who made the celebratory cake today and donated it to Dementia Club UK.
Partner organisations.
Partner organisations.

It was also a pleasure to see many of the members of Dementia Club UK.

Five years ago on the 14th August 2013 Dementia Club UK opened the first dementia café in Barnet in this hospital and this was commemorated by an unveiling of a plaque which is outside room 62 on the wall. The dementia café was opened with funds that I raised when I was Mayor of Barnet in 2011/2012.

Dementia Club UK is now running 7 dementia clubs in the Borough of Barnet and one in Borehamwood. This would not have been possible of course without the continued support of Nigel Wray Chairman of Saracens.

The unveiling of this plaque today commemorates a special piece of equipment called Tovertafel which has been donated by Dementia Club UK to The Finchley Memorial Hospital and this is the first London hospital to have this equipment.

This wonderful innovation was brought to the UK by John Ramsay and Mehdi Bedioui, Founders of Shift 8 – the company.

The Tovertafel means ‘Magic table’ in Dutch and has been designed to help those people with mid to progressed dementia and will also benefit people with learning disabilities and children and adults with autism. Tovertafel consists of a series of interactive games that are projected on a table and can be played independently or with friends and family.

The Tovertafel was installed in this hospital on the 24th March 2018.

Dementia Club UK members have enjoyed playing with The Tovertafel and we are now opening this to the community. I have seen people with progressed dementia and when they sit at The Tovertafel table their face suddenly lights up with joy and they start to interact by trying to reach and touch the projected animations.

As a carer myself as my mother has progressed Alzheimer’s disease, I know the difficulties and challenges carers and families are faced with daily. To be able to provide some respite not only for the dementia suffers but also their carers and families is so important. Giving them something to look forward to and new innovations such as The Tovertafel makes a huge difference to their lives.

Dementia Club UK has joined together with Saracens, Barnet Council, The Fremantle Trust, Rotary, NHS and NHS Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group and Community Health Partnerships to now promote The Tovertafel to the community.

Finchley Memorial Hospital is in a prime location and with its increased number of services coming soon will become a very busy hospital. I am also working with Richard Healy and TfL to help establish a bus route that will be able to come down the long road to the hospital entrance.

I hope that many people with dementia and people with learning disabilities will come and enjoy The Tovertafel. For those interested to book the Tovertafel, please contact me.


I was delighted to be invited by Rotary Club Hendon to their meeting on Monday 20th August at The Brent Cross Holiday Inn to speak about dementia and Dementia Club UK.

It was a pleasure to meet all the other Rotarians who made me feel very welcomed.

After my speech, they were interested to ask me questions as they felt very moved with how dementia affects people in society. I was then nicely surprised to be presented with a cheque by the President which I am very grateful.

Eugenia Dike President of the Rotary Club of Hendon presenting a cheque to Lisa
Eugenia Dike President of the Rotary Club of Hendon presenting a cheque to Lisa

Today’s meeting, which was led by Eleanor, was very well attended, in fact we had a full house!

We were all very pleased to be joined by two very special young guests, Dr Angela’s grandchildren, James and Rowena. They had all been to see the film, The Wind in the Willows and, to everyone’s delight, James and Rowena acted out some of the characters and asked us to guess who they were. It was great fun!

Eleanor then did a music quiz. As well as identifying each song from a list everyone was given, members were asked to name the singer. There was fierce competition to see who could name the song and singer first and it was lovely to see so many people enjoying the music.

Eleanor’s sessions wouldn’t be complete without a game of card bingo and we finished with a general knowledge quiz. We have some extremely knowledgeable members at our Finchley Group!

Thank you to Dr Angela and Melvyn, who provided invaluable support, and to those members who very kindly helped with the washing up.

This was our second session at Allum Manor and it was a sunny warm afternoon. In fact members who came early enjoyed sitting in the sunshine on the benches outside.

When members were settled with their teas and cakes, Mark (Trustee) did a quiz which members really enjoyed and as usual were competing with each table.

Richard then arrived and members were ready to start their chair yoga exercises which also included some exercise games with bean bags.

Members were then ready and to welcome Moshe with his music entertainment and as usual Moshe got members up and dancing and some members wanted to sing some of their favourite songs. We didn’t have a big group today but members who attended really enjoyed themselves. Thank you to Mark for helping throughout the session.

We had a very busy session with 31 members. After everyone settled with their teas, Lisa introduced Mark, one of the Trustees to start the quiz. Everyone looks forward to the quiz especially as each table becomes very competitive.

Richard then arrived to do the Chair Yoga with members. Richard always makes it not only challenging but very enjoyable. In fact members had overtime today because they wanted more.

Chair Yoga with Richard
Chair Yoga with Richard


Lisa had a poem today called ‘The True Meaning of Life’ As it had 11 verses, she got different members to read each verse. Everyone enjoyed reading the poem.

Lisa then played some of the usual music favourites which gets everyone singing and up dancing. It was near the end of the session and David one of the Golders Green Rotarians then told a joke which made members laugh.

Everyone left with a smile. Thank you to my Volunteers – Mark, Rotarians Michael, David and Dick for attending and helping. Also thank you to Risom who is always so helpful.

Today's report from session leader Danielle:

A small group today, as reflected by the summer season, but we had a particularly fun time. The ‘Three Degrees’ from Rotary of Northwick Park, aka Helen, Ritu & Mollie, as ever, served up delicious cakes and kept the tea flowing.

Rotary of Edgware and Stanmore members, Danielle, Sonia & Nandini, as well as Beryl, who currently runs the hall, all got stuck in chatting and colouring in from Danielle’s fab 1960s groovy pattern book. Bernadette even found one of a woman’s face with flowing hair, reminding her of her days as a hairdresser.

Danielle’s fab 1960s groovy pattern book
Danielle’s fab 1960s groovy pattern book

Richard, our resident chair yoga trainer, introduced Dyna Band exercises to the activity group, followed by a special lesson of exercises for the core back strengthening, which Jacqueline especially benefited from. We were reminded by Lisa, who has had a 30-year career in fitness, of the importance of keeping physical but in a paced way!

Thanks to Rotarian Peter for coming along at closing time to help put chairs and tables away