The Mayor of Barnet's Gala charity event was on Thursday 4th May at the RAF Museum.

Mayor of Barnet, Cllr. David Longstaff welcomes everyone to his Gala
Mayor of Barnet, Cllr. David Longstaff welcomes everyone to his Gala

I am very grateful to the Mayor for choosing Dementia Club UK as one of his Mayoral charities during his year. It has certainly helped to raise more awareness of this terrible cruel disease.

The choice of venue was amazing as people were walking through the museum and then sitting at the tables under war time bomber aircraft. How amazing.

Lancaster Bomber at Mayor of Barnet's Gala Dinner
Lancaster Bomber at Mayor of Barnet's Gala Dinner
Lancaster Bomber at Hendon RAF Museum
Lancaster Bomber at Hendon RAF Museum

The atmosphere was fantastic and everyone really had an enjoyable time. It was also a pleasure to see other Mayors from other Boroughs especially one of the Mayors who I knew when I was Mayor of Barnet - Cllr. Peter Herrington, Mayor of Waltham Forest.

Mayor of Waltham Forest supporting the Mayor of Barnet's Charities
Mayor of Waltham Forest and Lisa supporting the Mayor of Barnet's Charities

I was surprised to hear today that the hospital porters are not allowed to set up the round tables any longer. I bought the round tables because I wanted to create a café atmosphere. It was very convenient when the porters were setting them up before. The round tables will no longer be used now for this session.

The alternative was to use the hospital tables. I therefore set up 5 tables which was very easy. When members arrived they were all delighted to see the new arrangement. They all complimented and said that they preferred it this way. It all turned out well in the end and the session was great as usual with 30 members. Thank you to Melvyn for volunteering today and some of the carers helping out.

If anyone wants the old tables, see Lisa.

Dementia Club UK has a new table arrangement great compliments from members at Finchley Memorial
Dementia Club UK has a new table arrangement, great compliments from members at Finchley Memorial

 

Busy session at Hendon Town Hall today with our special guest Anne Mitchener
Busy session at Hendon Town Hall today with our special guest Anne Mitchener

This was a very busy session as members were very keen to meet our speaker – Anne Mitchener a consultant Neurosurgeon at The London Clinic. Anne talked about the new drugs that were recently announced saying that the research is happening in Cambridge. This research will help people with Parkinsons, dementia and diabetes type 2.

Anne Mitchener, Mayor and Mayoress of Barnet & Lisa Rutter Chaiman of Dementia Club UK
Anne Mitchener, Mayor and Mayoress of Barnet & Lisa Rutter Chaiman of Dementia Club UK

Anne gave us a little about the history of  Alzheimers as well. The first case that was presented with Alzheimer’s disease was in 1906 by Dr Alois Alzheimer. He describes this as a haunting case and a peculiar disease as he saw in an autopsy the dramatic shrinkage and abnormal deposits in and around the nerve cells. In 1984 researchers identified the amyloid protein known as beta amyloid which is the main component of Alzheimer’s brain plaques and triggering nerve cell damage.

In 1986 the Tau protein was identified which is a key component of tangles which is another triggering agent in nerve cell degeneration. Anne described how proteins form and fold and become a problem. Former US President Ronald Reagan announced in 1994 that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Anne then talked about the recent drugs which have been announced- Trazodone hydrochloride (used to treat depression and anxiety) and Dibenzoylmethane (a drug that could be used for prostrate and bowel cancer). This research is conducted in Cambridge

She then talked about Statins and how they are currently used to control cholesterol and prevent strokes. Cambridge researchers are now trying to make Neuro Statins that could be taken for dementia sufferers to prevent the disease progressing. There are 36 million people worldwide who have been diagnosed with dementia but this is massively underestimated as there are many more people who live in the Third world who have not been diagnosed. The figure is expected to triple by 2050.

The Government has recognised that Dementia is a huge problem, more than cancer and has put more funding into Dementia. Members then had the opportunity to ask Anne some questions. One of the questions was whether dementia was hereditary. Anne informed members that it is genetic - it's in our DNA and if for example we know that dementia is in the family then the best way is to be checked and if diagnosed to go on the trials.

I informed Anne that I had details of how members could apply to go on the trials and she said that would be the best way. We all thanked Anne for her very informative speech and I also gave her a tour of the Town Hall which she enjoyed.

The session then continued as normal with exercise and other activities. We had 3 volunteers from Chelsea Square estate agency. Many thanks to Davian Hunte, Rashaye (Shaye) Williams & Georgia Charilaou. I was very grateful for their help and would also like to thank Ruth Schwalb marketing assistant at Chelsea Square for sending their employees.

Thank you to 3 volunteers from Chelsea Square estate agency (to the right of the picture)
Thank you to 3 volunteers from Chelsea Square estate agency (to the right of the picture)
Table tennis action shot
Table tennis action shot

I also had 3 visitors again from the Rotary Club of Elstree and Borehamwood; Ann Goddard, Pat Strack and Sasha Capocci – who also visited the day before at the Finchley Memorial Hospital.

Visitors from the Rotary Club of Elstree and Borehamwood; Ann Goddard, Pat Strack and Sasha Capocci (to the right of the picture)
Visitors from the Rotary Club of Elstree and Borehamwood; Ann Goddard, Pat Strack and Sasha Capocci (to the right of the picture)

Volunteer Darica (medical student) attended as last month and was a great help. Our Dementia Club UK volunteers Theresa and Dr Angela also attended. I also had another visitor Eleanor Fretten. She would like to become a volunteer to help initially run the activities part of the session and then would like to hopefully learn to run the whole session.

The session today was very busy. I had no volunteers to start with and was therefore grateful for James and Kevin, both carers who offered to help at the beginning. I was very pleased later for the 3 volunteers from Barnet Council’s communication team arrive; Sarah Simmons, Rosie Evangelou & Siama Khan.

Volunteers from Barnet Council’s communication team (centre with Lisa), Sarah Simmons, Rosie Evangelou & Siama Khan and Sasha Capocci & Sandra Parnell from Rotary Club of Elstree and Borehamwood
Volunteers from Barnet Council’s communication team (centre with Lisa), Sarah Simmons, Rosie Evangelou & Siama Khan and Sasha Capocci & Sandra Parnell from Rotary Club of Elstree and Borehamwood

We also had 2 visitors from the Rotary Club of Elstree and Borehamwood; Sasha Capocci and Sandra Parnell. They wanted to come and see how the session is run as the Rotary Club of Elstree and Borehamwood would like to become partners with Dementia Club UK and open a new venue in Elstree and Borehamwood.

I did some singing with the members which they all enjoyed. I had song sheets prepared and then we did some poetry and quizzes.

One of the carers James wanted to talk to members about his recent visit from LEAP ‘Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning’ system which helps people to save on their energy bills. They will find the best energy supplier for you and they will also provide you with free energy light bulbs when they visit. James encouraged other members to call 0800 326 5551

Our volunteer Melvyn later attended and Dr Angela. The session followed with exercise and activities. Everyone really enjoyed the session. The volunteers from Barnet Council commented that they were not expecting to be so busy. They thought they would be sitting with members having tea and cake and chatting. They also commented that they also felt they had a good exercise work out. Our prospective Rotarian partners also enjoyed the session and left very impressed.

There were only 10 members today but the session was very worthwhile as the carers enjoyed a longer chat and 2 of the carers wanted to talk to me about problems they were experiencing. The session was followed by Tai Chi with James and then activities.

Pictures to follow.