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.

Lisa recently spoke at a Volunteering Forum on the 20th April at Hendon Town Hall to 30 care home managers and other professionals. She spoke about her recent initiative which was agreed by the Health and Wellbeing Board to provide volunteers with language skills day or night into care homes and other organisations. Lisa identified this need through her Care Quality Commission inspection visits to care homes.

As our population grows and becomes more diverse, some care home residents cannot speak English (even if they did speak it before they were diagnosed with Dementia). They may not be receiving the right care because care staff are unable to understand their needs. This affects mostly dementia sufferers as they revert back to their mother language. The need is far greater at night when care staff in care homes are reduced. Lisa is delighted that Volunteering Barnet will now be able to provide specialist volunteers with language skills to help in care homes.

If you are interested and would like to volunteer please either go to http://www.volunteeringbarnet.org.uk/about-us

or telephone: 0300 365 9960

10am – 4pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays)

In today's session Kevin played Family Fortunes with the members as last time which they all enjoyed and also in addition played another quiz naming the song title and artist from a line in a song.

Dementia Club UK volunteer Kevin taking a quiz
Dementia Club UK volunteer Kevin taking a quiz

This was quite challenging but fun. Lisa then did exercises and some singing and some members got up to dance. This then followed with some poetry reading and then the usual activities and feed back session.

Members enjoyed talking about their Easter break and family experiences.

Thank you to Kevin our volunteer for taking the first part of the session. It was lovely to see our nurse Karen today who interacted with members and took some blood pressures. Thank you to our volunteer Melvyn for helping out in the session and also to James one of the carers for helping out today.

This was our first session after the official launch on 13th March. For this session Malcolm the manager of Stephens House and Gardens gave a presentation about the history of Stephens House and Gardens. He gave a very interesting talk with a slide show and also presented on a table several items of memorabilia of the original owner of the house. He also spoke about a statue of Spike Milligan who is sitting on a bench in the gardens and people from around the world come and get their photo taken with 'Spike'.

Malcolm giving presentation on Stephens House and Gardens
Malcolm giving presentation on Stephens House and Gardens
Stephen House and Gardens memorabilia
Stephen House and Gardens memorabilia

This was also our first Outreach session with our partners from Barnet Carers. Maivel attended for this session accompanied with our own Dementia Club UK Dr Angela. This enabled carers to have a private chat with either Maival or Dr Angela which proved very successful.

Lisa thanked Malcolm and also mentioned to everybody that the Mayor of Barnet's recent Civic Awards, Andy Savage was recognised for his service to the Avenue House Estate Trust and friends of Stephens House and Gardens. He secured funds through grants and fund raisers.

The session followed with Moshe entertaining which everyone enjoyed including activities in one part of the room where some of the men enjoyed playing golf and darts.

Games at Stephens House and Gardens with Dementia Club UK
Games at Stephens House and Gardens with Dementia Club UK
Playing Catch
Playing Catch
Conga Dance proves popular
Conga Dance proves popular

My thanks go to the Rotary volunteers, Valerie, Jeff, Michael, Stephen and Kuljit and also to regular volunteers Theresa and Dr Angela. We would like to thank Risson for his continued help setting up and serving the tea and coffee to members.