The BBC have published a film after their visit to a Dementia Club UK Session at Finchley Memorial Hospital. The Tovertafel mentioned in the film was donated to the hospital by Dementia Club UK for the use by the community.


It’s Show Time at Hendon Town Hall dementia club today.

We also had some visitors from Rotary Club of Hendon – The Rotary Club President Eugenia who attended with Rotarians Rita and Francisca.

It was also a surprise and a pleasure to see 2 other visitors – Dr Rhonda Cohen and Tija Hubej who were passing by as they work at Middlesex University.

Tija Hubej and Dr Rhonda Cohen  who work at Middlesex University
Tija Hubej and Dr Rhonda Cohen who work at Middlesex University

Members arrived and as usual enjoyed the teas and cakes to start with. Mark are quiz master then introduced some quiz questions which prompted several topics of interesting conversations. Lisa then followed with giving all members a verse to read from a poem called ‘A Simple Hug’ which then followed with everyone giving their loved ones a hug.

It was then time for exercise as Jane had arrived. Everyone moved to the other side of the room ready for their exercises which always finishes with Lisa playing to members ‘Coming Round the Mountain’ and other music favourites.

Everyone was now ready for the highlight of today which was Show Time with The Zimmerettes. The performance included musical numbers like; ‘All That Jazz’, ‘New York, New York’, ‘Pennsylvania 65000 – Ceroc dance ‘and much more finishing off with ‘Dancing Queen’ and getting everyone up and dancing.

Zimmerettes performing
Zimmerettes performing "New York, New York"

It was an amazing magical afternoon with plenty of smiles and dancing and singing along to the musical numbers.

Members of Dementia Club UK with the Zimmerettes
Members of Dementia Club UK with the Zimmerettes

Our thanks to Shelley Blackstein and Loz Pitts and all the rest of the performers who were star performers. It was a spectacular and amazing performance and members really enjoyed the afternoon.

Today's report is from Annette who took the session.

"Today’s session went smoothly and we had 42 members in attendance.

I based my jokes, quiz and discussions around rail transport and rail stations, following members recent trip to Epping Ongar Railway. I provided a few pictures of rail stations, rail carriages and similar to help them start conversations on the subject.

Ronnie then entertained the members who joined in singing and some danced to the music. Volunteers Melvyn and Carlos were on hand to help during the session. We also celebrated Brian and Mable’s birthdays and Mable was happy to take her cake home. I believe everyone had a really nice time as they always do at our dementia clubs."

Mable's birthday
Mable's birthday

Ronnie entertaining with songs and music
Ronnie entertaining with songs and music

Today was the official launch of the Dementia Club at St John’s United Reformed Church, which was a great success.

Members and other guests attended the party, including members from Friends in Need who attended with their carers. Everyone really enjoyed themselves.

Barnet TV also came to the launch party and filmed the event which they will show on their website and will be providing us with a link.

Lisa welcomed everybody and gave a brief speech and this was followed by cutting the large celebration cake and taking a few official photos.

 Chocolate Cake for the Launch Party
Chocolate Cake for the Launch Party
Lisa with Rotary Club of Barnet and St John’s Church Volunteers
Lisa with Rotary Club of Barnet and St John’s Church Volunteers

Everyone was then offered teas, coffees plus sandwiches and cakes which they all enjoyed.

Simon our Rotarian quiz master then distributed two fun quizzes on all the tables asking them to identify the names of some cartoon characters. This created a lot of interest and discussion on all the tables to identify the correct answers.

The session then continued with Richard providing some Chair Yoga exercises. Everybody at the session took part including the volunteers. The members from Friends in Need joined in and had a fantastic time.

Chair yoga with Richard
Chair yoga with Richard

The yoga session was then followed with James Le Bec, our musical entertainer. James sang some old-time favourites which members enjoyed listening to and everyone joined in by singing and dancing. James then did his well-known music quiz asking the members to identify the songs that he played and to roll a large dice to get enough points to win a box of chocolates. James was helped by his assistant Joy. All members enjoyed the challenge, especially throwing the large dice to try and get enough points to beat the points raised by other clubs.

James Le Bec singing his popular songs
James Le Bec singing his popular songs

Many thanks to the following who made the Launch Party successful:

  • Lisa – Chairman of Dementia Club UK
  • Rotary Club of Barnet; Mike Hodge (Past District Governor), Brian Coleman (President when the Dementia Café started), Jim McCarthy (Current President), John, Scott, Simon, Victor and Brian Isaacs.
  • St John’s Church: Andrew, Dorothy, Sue and
  • Brenda Carlos – a new volunteer
  • Friends in Need leader Jesse and the 17 member
  • Barnet TV - Bidemi and Itte

Dementia Club UK had their outing today to Epping Ongar Railway.

Members of Dementia Club UK with volunteers of the Epping Ongar Railway
Members of Dementia Club UK with volunteers of the Epping Ongar Railway

All was organised perfect by the Railway. When we arrived we were met by Dean Walton the Railway General manager and station staff which was a lovely welcome.

The weather was drizzling and as the steam train was not quite ready we all went to the Anglian station cafe to wait until the train arrived and was ready. When the steam train arrived members were excited to see the train and looked forward to their journey.

The train engineers were happy to show members the engine. Photos were continuously taken. We boarded the steam train and completed our steam train journey which was really pleasant. It was then time for our afternoon tea. We all went back to the Anglian station cafe to find that the tables were all prepared for a Ritz style afternoon tea. Members were served with teas and coffees and lovely cakes. Kitchen staff including Dean were all helping to serve. Members all commented the excellent service.

It was a real pleasure to also meet the Station Manager John Appleton who was very pleased to meet us. As the plan was to also get a group photo together, John called all his staff and organised for a photo to be done next to the steam train. It was still raining slightly but this didn’t stop us.

Lisa got all the members together and all the Railway staff and engineers and kitchen staff all came out for the photo. It was so lovely. We were all now ready to board the train again but this time a diesel train to take us through Epping Forest.

It was a truly amazing journey through the forest. One of the members commented that it was like a Harry Potter experience. This was a truly perfect day.

Lisa would like to thank Dean and John and all the staff and engineers for looking after us throughout the afternoon. They were amazing and members had a really wonderful time.

Whilst chatting with John, John noticed Lisa’s pin badge with the Saracens logo and mentioned how supportive he is every year to the Foundation. He also suggested that he would be delighted to offer something similar to Saracens Foundation. Lisa informed John that she would certainly mention about the Epping Ongar Railway to Nigel Wray.

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