Our Dementia Club UK Outing to the Mikie Driver Variety lunch and show at the Wood Green Social Club was a great success on 14th February - Valentine’s Day.

It didn’t matter that the weather was cold and horrible as all the members had a very enjoyable time. Another group was expected but there was a problem and unfortunately they didn’t turn up. This didn’t matter however as it became a private Show for Dementia Club UK.

We first had lunch which was delicious. The slices of beef were generous and lots of gravy with Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and peas and carrots. The additional condiments were also served – horseradish and mustard. The vegetarian option was also equally delicious. For pudding the chef made homemade cherry pie with custard which again was really delicious and lots of clean plates. On a cold day like today this was a very comforting lunch. Compliments to the Chef.

The Show then started and Mickie introduced Jackie Simmonds who was very glamorously dressed. Her duty during the afternoon was being the sound engineer but Mickie also told us the Jackie used to be a ‘tiller girl’ – she posed at the London Palladium on a revolving stage on Sunday evenings. Jackie then gave us a demonstration.

Mickie then started singing some musical favourites and was also joined with Annie Riley who had a love hearts dress on and sang beautifully. Everyone was singing and some members also were up dancing.

During the short interval the bar was open for anyone who wanted to buy any drinks and also ice creams. The ice creams were a real treat. The Show then resumed with a comedian – Bob Curtiss who made us all laugh with various jokes.

He was then followed by Mike Marandi who was absolutely amazing singing more musical favourites and also singing a couple of songs in Italian which pleased our Italian members.

A very enjoyable afternoon and big thanks to Mickie Driver and the other entertainers. We were sad to hear that the Wood Green Social Club which has been there for many years will unfortunately be closing soon as developers will be building housing on the site.

A very busy session today. As Valentine Day is in a couple of days, Lisa decided to decorate the tables with red tablecloths and each table had a vase of yellow tulips and red petals.

Members were delighted to see the beautifully decorated tables as they arrived. Lisa welcomed everyone and gave them a Valentines quiz to start doing together on each table as a team. Lisa also introduced a visitor – Mrs Mami Kato who wanted to observe and study our dementia club so that they can use the information to set up similar dementia clubs in Japan.

Mami also mentioned that her TV Director Ms Murakami may also try to attend one of our dementia clubs to film it. Members welcomed Mami.

Mark then called out the quiz answers. Members enjoyed doing the quiz as there were some very interesting questions. Lisa then did some Valentine poetry reading with everyone and each table had to choose someone to read a verse. The poem about ‘A simple Hug’ was then read and at the end everyone gave each other a hug which was really nice.

Paul Jaffa our music entertainer then arrived. Paul plays the piano at the West Lodge Hotel in Cockfosters on a regular basis. Paul brought his keyboard today and played some familiar songs which everyone enjoyed listening to and some that they sang to and even danced. Mami our visitor also enjoyed interacting with members and even danced too. It was a very enjoyable Valentine session.

Thank you to our volunteers today – Melvyn and Arzu for their help throughout the session. Also a big thank you to Marina one of the carers who was also very helpful.

Today’s session was the first session following the BBC Inside Out programme about Dementia Club UK. Many of the members that attended were featured in the TV programme so everyone was feeling very upbeat.

Muz and Faz presented Lisa with some flowers to thank her for her incredible achievements with Dementia Club UK. The members praised the TV coverage and discussed the idea of making a TV series in the future so more time could be dedicated to the topic.

Whilst members enjoyed their teas, coffees and lovely cakes, there were several games to keep the members occupied which were themed around TV, given there had just been a TV documentary on Dementia Club UK. Members were given 41 letter cards and had to make 5 single word TV programmes. Everyone managed to get the answer right surprisingly quickly. This followed with a verbal quiz about famous TV double-acts. Everyone contributed and suggested their favourite double acts.

Muz then introduced a card game where people had to match the famous couples together. Everyone loved playing the game. There was also colouring and word searches so there was something to keep everyone occupied before Richard took over with seated exercise. Richard’s session was lovely with everyone enjoying their stretches and working out their muscles.

After the exercise session, members were entertained with a variety of games that included golf putting, a bowling green and table tennis. Everyone was having lots of fun with the variety of activities. Sotiris was elated when he got a hole in one. It was fantastic watching Mabel enjoy the golf and seeing Viv and Brian get stuck in to the bowling. The session concluded with a sing-a-long of Que Sera Sera which everyone really enjoyed.

This was a very enjoyable session and big thanks to Lisa, Mark and to Pat, one of the carers and Annette for helping out today.

Considering the bad weather yesterday and today, we again had a full house turnout at our lovely new venue in The Finchley Cricket Clubhouse - 30 members, Mark (a Trustee), Rotarians Sheila, Michael, Dick and myself

Julian and Jacqueline set the tables and prepared a lovely afternoon tea of sandwiches and cakes and biscuits and hot drinks and served on each table. Thank you to all our volunteers and carers today for helping to serve

Lisa welcomed members and provided some programme updates and also reminded members about the BBC1 film tonight. As today was a special Jewish holiday celebrating “Tu Bishvat”, Lisa explained that in Israel the day is celebrated as an ecological awareness day and trees are planted in celebration in honour or in memory of loved ones and friends. It’s the Jewish Festival of trees and also marks the beginning of Spring. It is also traditionally celebrated by eating lots of grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates

Lisa then talked about the importance of trees and how planting trees is important to stop climate change. A quiz then followed about trees and how some leaves from trees are used to treat various symptoms. Lisa lastly mentioned that Barnet Council was awarded the 2019 London Borough Tree Award after pledging to plant 900 trees per year for the next 5 years

Lisa then distributed to all members a “Tu Bishvat” greeting card picture of a fruit tree in colour and also distributed another picture of an outline of a tree asking members to colour their own tree. Members were very interested and enjoyed doing the colouring.

Lisa then introduced Julian, Chairman of The Finchley Cricket Club to say a few words about the Club and its history. Julian gave us a very interesting talk about the Club, which was founded in the 1830s and has had many famous Cricketers over the years and more recently has hosted quite a few Women’s teams, who are doing better than the men!

We then met the lovely Sian who took our seated exercises. She certainly kept everyone’s attention with great music and exercises. Many people commented how they enjoyed her session.

This was then followed with music entertainment by Ian who got everyone up and dancing. This was followed with a music quiz where members who get the right answer also get to throw the big soft red dice to try and get a six. We scored 138 with some jiggery-pokery cheating.

We all went home to watch Lisa on BBC 1 “Inside Out London.” I must congratulate Lisa on a great performance and for showing Dementia Club UK in such a great light. I’m sure you’ll get great feedback and many enquiries from this superb documentary about your work in starting up this wonderful support for sufferers in the community.

WELL DONE ! Valerie Chodosh Trustee 

A beautiful sunny day and quite a few members arrived today. Volunteers Annette, Theresa, Annalisa, Muz and Faz and Mark one of our Trustees were all at hand to welcome members as they arrived and made sure they were seated to enjoy their teas, coffees and lovely cakes.

Lisa welcomed everyone and mentioned a few programme updates and introduced Muz and Faz who are session leaders. Jalpa the Community Sports Manager popped in to say hello. We then had a new visitor Dan Morris who is the new General Manager of Barnet Copthall Leisure Centre. Lisa welcomed him and Dan was very pleased to stay for a while and meet the members and volunteers. Welcome Dan.

Muz prepared each table with some pictures for members to enjoy colouring and also a word challenge whilst they were enjoying their teas.  Everyone was given 9 letters on a whiteboard  - R I F L E D E C K - and were asked to make as many words as they could from these letters. There were some great results as members made quite a few words.

We had 3 birthdays to celebrate today for Athena, Chris and Gina. Gina’s birthday was actually today and Chris’s momentous birthday is on the 10th February but they were happy for members to sing Happy Birthday to both of them. As usual Lisa makes sure that birthdays are celebrated in the usual Dementia Club UK fashion with a cake and a firework candle. Chris and Gina were really grateful and excited to see the firework candle.

Athena had to leave early so sadly she missed the celebration. It was then time for Annalisa to do some exercises with the members. Annalisa makes sure that members exercise all parts of their body but also makes the exercises fun. Her buzzing personality makes members enjoy exercising.

The session then followed with our talented music entertainer Aaron who played some familiar songs which got members up and dancing and singing along. At one point everyone was holding hands in a circle on the dance floor which was lovely to see. The music quiz part is also great fun with Aaron as this is competitive and fun. Members love the fact that they get to roll a dice to determine how many points they get to score for each question they answer correctly.

This was a very enjoyable session and big thanks to all our volunteers today.