On the 10th February 2020 we were delighted that our charity Dementia Club UK was featured on the BBC1 Inside Out London Programme.

People that missed the film have been asking us where they can view the film as it is not on the iPlayer any more. 

Unfortunately we have been told by the BBC that they will not allow us to show the film despite much correspondence. In their words they said; “We have checked this with the appropriate areas and have been advised that this material should not be licensed for use on your charity’s website due to the sensitive nature of the material, and the fact that such use might imply BBC endorsement of the charity”

The whole purpose of the film was to raise awareness of dementia and help as many people as possible. This is very disappointing and a real shame especially as dementia is now the biggest health concern and is increasing at an alarming rate.

We had a tremendous response to our first virtual Dementia Club session today with 37 participants with their families which equated to about 70 people engaged in the session.

Lisa did her usual welcome which initiated a lot of waving and everybody chatting and trying to talk at the same time. It was lovely to see so many familiar and new faces after such a long lock down. It was very overwhelming for everybody.

Lisa running the first virtual session from her office
Lisa running the first virtual session from her office

Lisa then introduced our musical entertainer, James Le Bec who was pleased to see everyone. He did a number of favourite sing-a-longs and although everyone was muted during his performance you could see everyone was singing and waving their arms.

James then did his usual music quiz which everyone enjoyed. Everyone was un-muted for this part of the session which produced a lot of excitement from members shouting out answers.

Lisa then introduced Richard Kravetz who gave fun yoga chair exercises. It was hard work for some members due to the lack or exercise during lock down but there were still lots of smiles and laughter. Everyone thanked James and Richard for their fantastic performances.

To finish off Lisa read a couple of jokes as Lisa has always said to members "laughter is the best medicine" and finally got everyone to sing their favourite song - "She'll be be coming round the mountain", then wishing everyone a safe journey "home".

Due to the success of this session we will be running this every Wednesday at 3pm. We will consider more sessions if there is a demand.

Dear Members,

Be aware that opportunists and criminals can take advantage of the elderly and vulnerable who are self-isolating during this period of Coronavirus outbreak.

There are people calling door to door proclaiming to be carrying out Coronavirus testing at your home for you on behalf of NHS or you GP.

The NHS are NOT conducting any door to door initiatives in regards to testing individuals for the Coronavirus, these are thieves trying to get into your home.

If anyone knocks on your door proclaiming to be conducting the tests please call the Police.

Anyone being offered "kindness" by cold callers by way of running errands, collecting prescriptions and doing shopping should not accept services from STRANGERS who may ask for cash up front, a credit card and its PIN, or gain trust simply to execute a more elaborate scam.

Since February 2020, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified 21 reports of fraud where Coronavirus was mentioned, with victim losses totalling over £800k. Ten of these reports were made by victims that attempted to purchase protective face masks from fraudulent sellers. Reporting numbers are expected to rise as the virus continues to spread across the world.

After the World Health Organisation has today declared a pandemic for the COVID-19 outbreak we have decided to suspend further Dementia Club UK sessions until further notice. We have done this with sadness but feel as our members are some of the most vulnerable people we should try and reduce their exposure to the risk of contact with those with the virus.

I found the following which I thought might be helpful, try and follow the following points and keep safe.

Today will be remembered for a long time as Lisa had to sadly announce to members that all dementia clubs after today’s session will be suspended until further notice. The World Health Organisation announced that the Corona virus Covid-19 had now been declared a pandemic which means that the world is in crisis. Members were very sad as they so look forward to attending the dementia clubs but they all fully understood the gravity of the situation and agreed that I was doing the right thing taking precautions.

Lisa also mentioned to members that whilst there will not be any dementia clubs, she wanted to let them know that they could call her any time if they had problems to discuss and also just for a chat.

The session then continued after this sad announcement and Lisa gave members another A to Z quiz to do. This time they had to find ‘countries of the world’. The aim of course is to try and find a country that has not been named by the other groups. This proved to be very competitive but also very enjoyable. Some members also did some word searches which they also enjoyed.

We then celebrated 2 birthdays. Maria’s 95th birthday which was on the 6th and Terry’s 85th birthday which is on the 16th. As usual the birthdays are celebrated with Lisa providing cakes with a firework candle - the Dementia Club UK style. Everyone sang Happy Birthday to them both.

Lisa then introduced Arzu who brought 2 big boxes containing many small seedling kit boxes which were donated by the Marks & Spencer Manager. Members received a variety of seedling kits and Arzu explained what they needed to do to grow them. The variety included – Basil, Beetroot, carrot, Chilli pepper, Forget-me-not, Lettuce, Micro cress, Pancy, Parsley, Pepper, Radish and Viola.

It was then time for some music entertainment and it was lovely to see again Mike Marandi. Members who went to the Mickie Driver Variety Show on Valentine’s Day would have met him then. Mike was really entertaining and played some lovely music favourites which members enjoyed and danced to. Mike also had some colourful clothes outfits which one of the members was happy to wear and dance to. Mike was certainly full of surprises and made everyone laugh.

This was a truly wonderful session and everyone left with a smile. Thank toy my volunteers today Angela Chen, Arzu and of course Mark.