Our activities

Over the last 12 months this programme of activities at the Wednesday Club has comprised:

• 50 “early morning” chair-based keep-fit sessions (paid for by a grant from the Cicely Northcote Trust)

• 80 hours of music-based activities (25 of which were “singing for the brain” sessions) designed to accommodate the wide-ranging interests of our members (eg. yodelling, Caribbean music, song-writing, rapping, the soundtracks of Disney films, tap dancing). One of our music activities is “Let’s not sing Tipperary” which has been developed by our Resident Musician Melanie. It has its own website with songs, other resources and evaluation.

• 32 poetry reading and appreciation sessions, the first 26 of which were delivered (on consecutive weeks) and evaluated by the London Reader’s Organisation as part of a project which also provided one of our volunteers with the specialised training that has been enabling her to continue running the sessions herself – which she is now doing monthly.

• 14 art-based reminiscence sessions which were delivered and evaluated by internationally renowned reminiscence charity Age Exchange, as part of their RADIQL initiative– a pioneering intervention (supported by a grant from Guys and St Thomas’ Charity) which enables people with advanced dementia to develop meaningful interactions in the present. Our RADIQL -trained volunteers are due to start running the sessions themselves as from May.

• 36 art and craft sessions facilitated by our own art therapist (paid for with a grant from the London Catalyst) whose role is to enable the least verbal of our members to self-express either 1:1 or as part of a very small group, depending on the needs and preferences of individuals.

• An additional 20 sessions, intended to meet the interests and preferences of specific members. These have featured drama workshops, food tastings, group discussions about famous paintings (facilitated by outreach workers from the National Gallery), Indian head massages, and word games, to name a few.

• 6 one-day hairdressing sessions provided by specialist dementia hairdressers Lily Pins.

Our Monday Club – which is still in its infancy– also offers an extensive programme which is still under development, but which will conform to the plan detailed in this time-table:

10.00 to 10.45 Healthy Eating Club:

(To improve nutrition)

Tea, coffee, biscuits, soft drinks but also a selection of healthy and freshly-prepared sweet and savoury snacks -laid out as a buffet, with volunteers supporting people to help themselves. Less perishable finger foods (eg. Fruit) and cold drinks will be available throughout the morning.

Art activity: 

(To provide opportunities to use imagination, self -express, maintain fine motor and manipulative skills and learn new skills)

A table  will be laid out with art materials for people to join, as and when they want, throughout the morning, to contribute to a collective art project.

10.45 to 11.30 Physical activities: 

(To improve balance, gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, general coordination)

(a) Chair-based keep-fit sessions on alternate weeks

(b) Chair-based dance-movement sessions on alternate weeks

11.30 to 12.15 Social activities/Activities to keep the mind active 

(To provide opportunities to listen to others, share thoughts and emotions, express empathy, develop confidence to try new things, use decision-making and problem solving skills. Although activities will involve an element of challenge, the emphasis will on having fun, and providing the group with “sense of  belonging” to a community within which ownership is shared). 

List of activities that will be offered is below. Activity leaders who have agreed to deliver the  sessions (some on a voluntary basis) have already been identified, and schedule will be finalised, to take their availability into account as soon as start date is confirmed.

Social activities/Activities to keep the mind active (to run from 11.30 to 12.15)
Week 1: Discussion group around the art table, to familiarise members with format of the morning, and nature of the collective art project
Week 2 to week 15: (NB. Programme for the 14 weeks following week 1)

  • 1 x drama workshops (including a game of charades)
  • 1 x singing for the brain session
  • 1 x game of “Pictionary” (using a flip chart)
  • 1 x sensory session: making flavoured oils using garden herbs
  • 1 x quiz/discussion group aided by pictorial resource (cards with famous faces)
  • 1 x gardening/sensory session: planting seeds in pots
  • 1 x music making session
  • 1 x live concert + dancing
  • 1 x reminiscence session (theme: memories of spring and summer)
  • 1 x reminiscence film screenings
  • 1 x games of bingo with prizes
  • 1 x poetry workshop (reading and discussion of poetry aided by sensory materials)
  • 1 x circle dancing session
  • 1 x art appreciation session (group discussion of famous paintings)
Week 16: Focus group, to discuss and review programme.
Week 17 to week 32:  Programme to reflect members’ preferences (identified through ongoing monitoring and focus group held in week 16).
Week 32 and beyond: Programme to continue beyond week 32 subject to volunteers having been recruited to ensure group self-sustainability and to more funding becoming available

This page revised 21 March 2015

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