The 2nd May 2019 celebrated the official launch of Dementia Club UK and BETTER dementia club at Barnet Copthall Leisure centre. Lisa, Mark, Marina and Andreas arrived early to set up the room which was in one of the large studios.

The tables were beautifully decorated with tablecloths and flowers, the pull up banners were set up and the sandwiches and cakes were arranged. Some green balloons were also blown up with the BETTER logo and these added very nicely to all the decorations.

When everyone arrived, Lisa gave her welcome speech, giving a brief history of how she set up the dementia club and the aims of the charity to continue raising awareness and also to open more dementia clubs as the need is great. She also mentioned about upcoming events and had flyers displayed. Lisa then welcomed members and announced the special guests below;

  • The Mayor of Barnet – Councillor Reuben Thompstone
  • Rhiannon Morgan – Regional Health Manager GLL
  • Christopher Parker – General Manager Barnet Copthall Leisure Centre
  • Gillian Kelly – Partnership Manager GLL
  • Jalpa Assani – Community Sports Manager – GLL Barnet
  • Mary Hamilton – Physical Activity and Health Manager Barnet Copthall
  • Annalisa Cellini – Club Lead GLL
  • The Rotary Club of Mill Hill President Desmond and other Rotarians Jeanette and Jane and John.
  • Courtney Warden – Sport & Physical Activity Service Manager – London Borough of Barnet
  • Dylon Donaldson – commissioning group from Public Health London Borough of Barnet
  • And of course our Trustees – Mark and Dr Angela

The Mayor of Barnet then followed with a brief message, followed by a few words from Rhiannon. It was time to cut the cake and as with any cutting of the cake traditions, Lisa always puts a firework candle to celebrate. The Mayor then had some help in cutting the cake from Lisa, Jalpa, Rhiannon and Annalisa.

Lisa announced to everyone the beautiful celebration cake made and donated by Julianna Martins – Head Chef at Carlton Court Care Home and her team. Julianna also made some very small cupcakes with the BETTER logo and the Dementia Club UK logo. A huge thank you to Julianna for making these cakes which is really appreciated by Dementia Club UK.

It was then time for Annalisa’s dance group to perform and they were really fantastic dressed up with their colourful silk sashes around their waists and other props. They danced a few old time musical classics which everyone really enjoyed.

We also had a birthday to celebrate today as it was one of the members Margaret who came with her husband and son. Lisa as usual is always prepared with any birthdays as the tradition is a firework candle. Everyone sang and wished Maggie a happy birthday and when the firework candle was set off it unfortunately also set the fire alarm. I think Maggie and her family will remember this in amusement! Maggie then enjoyed a little dance with her son John. Everyone was then ready for sandwiches which were really delicious (from M&S of course!).

It was then time for Elvis who arrived and was getting himself ready. Pete Webb who acts as Elvis is always a great hit with everyone and was wearing his whites today.

Some of our members were also dressed up today in fancy dress up costumes and hats - Kevin and Melissa were both dressed to party and ready to dance. Kevin brought his mother in law Mable in a wheelchair. Nothing was going to stop Mable attending today as she is still recovering from a new hip operation. Mable was cheerful and very happy especially when Elvis was very close singing to her.

Elvis interacted with many of the members and our Rotarians from Mill Hill Rotary Club were also receiving special attention from Elvis. The atmosphere was electric as Elvis moved around singing. This was a very successful launch.

My thanks goes out to; Marina and Andreas for coming early to help with the set up, Christopher Parker the General Manager and his team for setting up the tables and chairs, Jalpa and Annalisa for blowing up balloons and generally helping with the set up, Our Trustees – Mark and Dr Angela for their help and support throughout the session, Annalisa and her dance group for a fantastic performance. Members commented how they would love to see them again.

A big thank you to Carlton Court Care Home for donating the celebration cake and cupcakes which were delicious and enjoyed And a big thank you to everyone that came to support the launch.

It was as usual a busy session. Members were really looking forward to attending today to see and hear Helen Tierney. Helen entertains by playing the Harp, piano and accordion. One of the members Brian was especially looking forward to this day. He couldn’t wait and was crossing off the days.

Lisa welcomed everyone and announced upcoming events. Members were also busy doing a word search and a quiz to identify 15 famous faces and 9 countries to identify their national flowers. This wasn’t easy but members always enjoy the challenge.

One of the carers Ernie Glenister then prepared and brought some old photos and documents going back to his childhood at school and wanted to share this with members. In his talk to members, Ernie goes back 79 years ago when he was 4 years old and his brother was 2 years old and they were evacuated in May 1940. They attended a nursery in Canonbury, Islington run by Lady Islington and the whole nursery was sent by coaches to Dyrham Park, near Bath, Lady Islington’s country seat.

Ernie was later transferred with another lad onto a nearby farm. His brother now aged 5 and Ernie now aged 7 came home to London in 1943 then sent to Loughborough due to V1’s and V2’s returning home in early 1945.

Lisa thanked Ernie for his very informative talk and copies of his photos and documents which are published on this website with his permission. It was then time for Helen to perform and everyone welcomed her. She played beautifully as usual there was singing and also some dancing.

Thank you today to Lizzy, (Dr Angela and Mark our Trustees) and Melissa for their help and support during the session. This was an enjoyable session and everyone left with a smile.

This was our first session today taking over from the Alzheimer’s Society. We had some new members and a few of our other dementia club members who attended.

Lisa started the session welcoming all the members which also included Toffee a therapy dog. She is a greyhound and very loveable. Members enjoyed having her there.

Lisa also welcomed a new volunteer Sarah who used to volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Society. It was lovely to see Theresa one of our Dementia Club UK volunteers who also attended.

Members tucked into their sandwiches and biscuits and enjoyed chatting whilst also colouring some pictures with crayons. Richard then arrived to do some chair yoga which everyone really enjoyed as Richard makes it fun.

The session then followed with some poetry reading with Lisa and members were happy to take turns to read a verse. The last part of the session was social activities with magnetic darts, skittles, table tennis and Putting golf which members also really enjoyed. It was a fun afternoon and everyone left with a smile.

A very successful first session. Thank you to our volunteers for their help and also Mark one of our Trustees who was also very supportive and helpful.

A very good attendance to today’s session. We had 34 clients including about 17 from the members of Friends in Need. Again, we registered four new persons who became members of the Dementia Club UK.

The session started as usual with members chatting and enjoying their teas, coffees, biscuits and cakes.

Lisa made the following announcements for future events: ·

  • Thursday 2nd of May at 2pm to 4pm – Launch of a new dementia club at Barnet Copthall
  • Thursday 16th of May – 7.15 for 8.00 – Understanding Dementia at St Andrew’s Parish Church in Totteridge
  • Monday 20th of May – Dementia Action Day at Brent Cross Centre from 9am to 8pm in the centre area. Main attractions from 2pm to 4pm.

Simon, our Rotary quiz master, then distributed his quiz, which consisted of 15 faces of famous people to be identified and 9 countries to identify their national flowers. The members found the questions to identify the faces a bit difficult, however, they all did very well with the identification of the national flowers.

After the quiz Richard, our yoga exercises teacher, did about 30 minutes of chair yoga exercises. All attendees joined in and had a very enjoyable time.


The yoga session was then followed with our entertainer James Le Bec who sang songs selected by the members. James then asked the members to identify various songs and when they guessed them correctly, they were asked to throw a large dice to get points. The members managed to identify all 10 songs and they got more points than the previous maximum from other Dementia Clubs.

The members enjoyed listening to James’s songs and joined in singing and dancing. James’s assistant Joy helped to get the members to join the dancing. Members Dancing to James’s songs

Thank you to our church volunteers for making teas and coffees, setting up the venue and making the necessary preparations for the session; Dorothy, Sue and Andrew.

Thank you also to our Rotarians from Barnet; Jim (President), John, Malcolm, Simon and Victor plus his wife Barbara. Many thanks to Doctor Angela Parker and to our new volunteer Annette.

Also thank you to Lisa the Chairman of Dementia Club UK, for her continuous support making the Dementia Club at St John’s Church so successful.

Today's session was written by Charlyn Duru (Rotary Club of Hendon Club Secretary)

Today’s session was super special as it was the official launch of The Rotary Club of Hendon Dementia Club in Association with Dementia Club UK. Members arriving were pleased to see sandwiches of all sorts, drinks and teas and coffees.

The number of attendees was phenomenal. The room was full to the point that there were no seats left for volunteers. The afternoon started with a welcome address from Lisa the Chairman and introducing guests.

This was followed by a speech by our special guest the Deputy Mayor Cllr. Caroline Stock who stood in for the Mayor Cllr.Reuben Thompstone who had sent his apologies. She then did the honour of cutting the beautifully presented launch cake with the support of Eugenia the Rotary President and Lisa. Everyone enjoyed the cake which was really delicious.

The afternoon continued with fun exercises from Eon our exercise guru who took us through our paces followed by live music performance from our resident musician James Bernard.

There was a lot of dancing and sing along by members, guests and volunteers. Helen one of the carers was presented with a birthday cake and everybody sang and wished her a happy birthday which she very much appreciated.

This session was also extra special because for the first time we had eight guests from Barnet African Caribbean Association who expressed interest to become members of Dementia Club UK.

Other guests included Rotarian Presidents from Rotary Club of Pall Mall - Sylvia Ponce, Rotary Club of Wembley - Julie Caesar, Rotary Club of Enfield Chase - Lovina Kalu and Mark Rose from Rotary Club of Northwick Park.

Sylvia Ponce presented and donated colouring books and pens on behalf of the Pall Mall Rotary Club.

The afternoon would not have been successful without the help of our committed volunteers Theresa, Annette, Melissa, Bob and carer Marina. Also thanks to volunteers from Rotary Club Hendon - with Session Leaders Charlyn and Eugenia of Hendon, Michelle, Ayo, Franca and Rita.

Also of course thank you to Lisa our Chairman for organising the event and Mark one of the Trustees for helping throughout the session. One member described the session as one of the best she has ever attended.

We had quite a few members today and some new members.

Lisa decided to arrange the tables differently so that we were using more of the space available. It worked very well and everyone liked the new arrangement.

Members enjoyed the first part of the session as usual, chatting and doing a word search whilst also enjoying their teas/coffees and cakes. Lisa welcomed everyone and gave some updates regarding upcoming events.

Joanna then arrived to do some chair Chi Gong exercises which everyone always find very relaxing. The session then followed with Ronnie’s music entertainment which everyone really enjoys with lots of dancing. As it was Pam’s birthday today (one of the carers) she brought in some chocolates to share which everyone appreciated and Ronnie also played the Happy Birthday tune and we all sang giving our best wishes.

It was an enjoyable session. Thank you to Mark one of the Trustees for helping to set up with the tables and chairs and also to some of the carers who also volunteer to help.