I’m delighted to report that our launch today with BETTER Kentish Town Sports Centre was a great success.

It was lovely to see the number of people who attended. A number of organisations were also invited;

  • North London Carers – Juliet McNally
  • Camden Memory Service – Christopher Denney
  • Age UK Camden – Gabriela Garbutt
  • Imperial College London – Lesley and Monika
  • Camden Carers – Carol

Local people in the area who also heard about the launch were interested to visit because they knew someone with dementia and they wanted to visit first to see what it was like.

Andrew Gilbert (Community Sport Manager) welcomed everyone and said how delighted and excited he was that Kentish Town Sports Centre was joining in Association with Dementia Club UK and was looking forward to a continuous successful future together. Andrew then introduced Lisa – Chairman and founder of Dementia Club UK to say a few words.

Lisa gave a brief introduction about Dementia Club UK and how it started and how she was delighted to have opened a second out of the borough dementia club with BETTER Kentish Town Sports Centre. Lisa then mentioned that the venue brought back memories as it used to be the old baths. Lisa grew up in the local area and her parents used to visit the old baths regularly. It’s lovely to see the old pictures on the wall which makes interesting history about the venue before it was converted to a sports centre.

The speeches proceeded to the official signing to confirm that BETTER Kentish Town Sports Centre are now joined in Association with Dementia Club UK. This was signed by Andrew Gilbert and Adriana Duarte (Community Sports Officer).

A group photo was then taken with David White (Partnership Manager, Camden) who also attended the launch. This was followed with a celebration cake and a cake firework candle which everyone enjoyed watching.

It was then time for some music entertainment with the Timeless Performers Wayne and Charlie who were amazing and interacted with everyone getting them up dancing and singing. It was a successful afternoon and everyone commented how they really enjoyed themselves and looked forward to attending the next session which will include games, chair fitness and entertainment.

A big thank you to Andrew and Adriana for organising and setting up the room beautifully for the launch including snacks and healthy fruit for our guests and thank you also to Mark one of the Trustees of Dementia Club UK who was very busy looking after everyone who attended providing them with their teas and coffees.

Today's session was led by Annette.

It was a well-attended busy session and we had two new members. The session began with the welcoming of members, registration and offering them tea, coffee and biscuits as usual. Announcements were made and the updated programmes for the rest of the year were distributed.

It was a day of Poetry. Members were encouraged to write poems and put their thoughts, feelings etc on paper, which they did. The role of poetry in the lives of people was emphasised and members were encouraged to write their own poems which they did; individually and in some cases as a group.

Volunteers read the poems out (Theresa, Melvyn, Lizzy and Kevin) and one of our Trustees, Angela, read out a poem too. Some were popular poems; others were written by volunteers and members. Members all had a great time and enjoyed listening to each other’s poems.

The entertainers Wayne and Charlie were great and everyone had a great time, singing and dancing.

The atmosphere was electrifying and full of positive energy. Thank you to our volunteers – Melvyn, Lizzy Theresa, Dr Angela and Kevin for all their help during this session.

A busy session as usual and a few new members and a new volunteer today called Joan Cheevers from the Eleanor Palmer Trust.

It was lovely to see back our volunteer Lizzy after being off sick for a while too. Lisa welcomed everyone and announced some news about a new venue to replace Stephen’s House & Gardens.

Lisa then introduced Peter Warden who brought his music backing tracks and played and sang some old time favourites for everyone to sing along. Everyone enjoyed singing along and a few of the members were also happy to get up an dance.

The session then continued with games and word searches and Lisa also distributed some picture card photos showing life in the 1950s. This prompted lots of discussion and Mark also read out some information about the pictures which was interesting.

During the last part of the session the Tovertafel was turned on and members gathered around to play some of the favourite games. It was an enjoyable session.

Thank you to our volunteers today – Melvyn, Lizzy, Joan and Mark.

Today's session was led by Justine and supported by her volunteers from the Synagogue.

Our members were served tea, coffee and lovely biscuits & cake at the start of our session and were happy chatting to each other.

Stephen (one of our wonderful Volunteers) gave a short presentation on Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) as we have recently celebrated Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is this Wednesday. Our members were very interested to learn about our High Holy Days and asked lots of questions.

Lisa (Our Chairman) brought in Dementia Club UK's very own portable Magic Table from a company called OM Interactive. This is a portable device that allows each of the different Dementia Club UK venues to use it rather than it being installed in a permanent venue. It is a type of projector that projects games onto a table which people can interact with their hands. This is a very special piece of equipment which are members thoroughly enjoyed using (as did the volunteers!) We feel extremely lucky to be able to see this in action!

For more details on the company see: https://omi.uk/

This was followed by a lively session of entertainment provided by the very talented James LeBec and his lovely assistant, Joy! James sang a variety of popular songs to which many of the members and helpers danced. It was great fun! He also did a music quiz and our members had to guess the name of the song! The atmosphere was fantastic and we were all very competitive.

After James left, the members continued to chat and there was also table tennis, mini golf, jumbo dominos and darts! 32 members and carers attended the session with the assistance of seven helpers from the synagogue who were:- Justine, Gilda, Stephen, Mark, Dot, Judy, Keith & Caroline.

Not everyone’s disability is visible. Marks & Spencer have come up with a good idea to provide Sunflower Lanyards to people who need some help when shopping in Marks & Spencer stores.

It tells the staff in stores that if they see anyone wearing this lanyard they can offer some help if needed. I think this is a wonderful idea and perhaps this should be copied in other stores too.