Local organisations support Dementia Harborough

In February the Market Harborough Scottish Dance Society held a dance night at Jubilee Hall specifically to raise funds for us and in April we were delighted to receive a cheque for £400 from them.

Also in April, Elaine Moss, the Chair of the Market Harborough Tangent Club (a member of the family of Round Table clubs for ladies who are over age 45), reached the end of her term of office and nominated Dementia Harborough as her chosen charity to benefit from funds raised during the previous year.

Our Chair Peter Hirst was very pleased to have the opportunity to speak to many of the members before they commenced their Annual General Meeting, to thank them for their cheque for £500 and to explain a little about what we do.

Peter can be seen here receving the cheque from Elaine Moss.

The donations we have received this year have been amazing, and will all go to fund the events we arrange.

Dementia Friends training for 1st Great Bowden Brownies

Amanda Ball, the Brown Owl of 1st Great Bowden Brownies, recently invited Dementia Harborough to talk to the girls about dementia.  On 30 March our Trustee Chris Davies went along to meet them.

The 26 Brownies were very attentive to her explanation of what dementia means, and they grasped the concepts very well.  At the end of the session Chris was proud to present all the Brownies with a Dementia Friends badge and a leaflet for their parents.

Some of the group can be seen here with Chris.

Artistic talents on show

At our March Cafe we had a very enjoyable session creating collages of birds, ably led by Catherine Matthews.

It was great to see everyone concentrating so hard and the quality of the work - in the photo below we can see Catherine giving some pointers to one of the groups, and a couple of examples of the finished art.

Songbirds Ladies Choir visit us and present a cheque

At Singing for Memories in March we were delighted to be joined by some of the members of the Songbirds Ladies Choir who came along to present a cheque for £300 representing funds raised by them during the 2016 festive season.

This is the second time we have been awarded a donation from the Choir and we were delighted to have them back with us again, and for them join in with our singing.

Christine Kershaw, Chair of the Choir, can be seen here presenting the cheque to our Chair, Peter Hirst.

We are grateful to Harborough Band for a substantial donation

Harborough Band have very generously awarded us with a cheque for £400, having raised this from the 2016 festive season carolling around Market Harborough.

The support of the members of this brass band is very much appreciated; thank you!

Harborough FM visit our Cafe

Chris Jones and Owen Brooks from HFM, our community radio station, joined us for our February Cafe and entertained us with bingo, and quiz, and finished up with a rousing sing-along.

Both organisations are being supported by the Harborough Summer Fayre  so it was great to be able to get together for the afternoon.  We are also grateful to them for the 'shout-outs' they have given us recently.

Loosening up for the New Year

At our January Cafe we were delighted to welcome back Julie Hodder from 'Fit as a Fiddle' to lead us in exercises. Designed to suit all abilities, the gentle seated exercises helped us loosen up and strengthen key muscle groups - and enjoy doing it!

Trip to see the musical Grease at The Curve

Our coach trip to Leicester’s Curve Theatre to see a dementia-friendly performance of Grease was a great success. Including favourites such as Summer Nights, Greased Lightnin’, Hopelessly Devoted to You and You’re the One That I Want, this musical celebrates the birth of American cool and the pop explosion of the 1950s.

Once again Curve Theatre looked after us extremely well and made us all very welcome.  The photos show a couple of our members with some of the cast after the show, when they took time to chat to the audience.

Market Harborough Summer Fayre has chosen Dementia Harborough as their charity for 2017!

We are delighted and proud to announce that the Organisers of Market Harborough's Summer Fayre have chosen Dementia Harborough as their charity for 2017.  As such the profits from the Fayre in August will be split 50/50 between ouselves and the local radio station HFM.  The Summer Fayre has previously supported The Air Ambulance Service and Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People.

News about the Summer Fayre can be found on their website and their Facebook page.


Christmas Party

We have had a load of fun at Dementia Harborough this year and what better way to round off our activities than to have a Christmas Party?

We enjoyed great food, party games such as bingo (ably called by our very own Santa, Marlene) and pass the parcel, and ran our usual raffle, and presented everyone with a Christmas gift.

Thanks to everyone for their company during the year, and we at Dementia Harborough wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Christmas Lunch

This year we decided to have a Christmas lunch for our members, and it's fair to say that we were overwhelmed by the response to the idea!

Our chosen venue was The Waterfront at Union Wharf in Market Harborough where we were extremely well looked after despite the large size of our party, some of whom can be seen below

It was a wonderful start to the season's festivities.


Our group's artistic talents were explored while decorating mugs at our Cafe in November

Thanks to Helen and Lynn from Elsie's Pottery Painting Barn we had a lovely afternoon decorating mugs. We are loking forward to seeing the finished items when they are back from glazing, when their colours will be enhanced.

Trip to Black Country Living Museum – 29 September 2016

Following on from the success of our trips to Lichfield, The Curve Theatre and Bury St Edmunds, we organised a trip to the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley.

At the 26 acre open-air Museum you can experience the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the Black Country’s past. Take a trip ‘into the thick’ of their underground mine, chat to their friendly characters, hop on a tram, explore their shops and houses, and enjoy live demonstrations as you discover the Black Country’s impact on the world.

The coach trip and entry to the Museum was free to our members, as was the cream tea! There was so much to see that we are thinking of arranging a return visit next year.

Leicestershire's Memory Plus team bring a touch of Hollywood glamour

Our September Cafe saw a visit from Leicestershire's Memory Plus team who brought with them a range of memorabilia and props. Some of our members had fun being photographed!

Getting ready for the Olympics

Julie Hodder of 'Fit As A Fiddle' kindly came along to run a gentle exercise session at our July Dementia cafe. There was an Olympic theme to the afternoon, which was really good fun and gave us some ideas about exercises we can all do at home to keep fit.

Dementia Harborough is registered with the Charity Commission

In recognition of the growth of Dementia Harborough it had become appropriate for us to apply for recognition by the Charity Commission.  We are delighted to announce that we have passed their assessment process and are now a fully registered Charity.

£500 raised for Dementia Harborough at the Strawberry Cream Tea on 25 June

Thanks to the excellent efforts of Beryl Wisher and her team, the magnificent sum of £500 was raised at this year's Strawberry Cream Tea at St Nicholas Church Hall in Little Bowden.

This event was very well attended and we at Dementia Harborough would like to thank everyone for their very generous support.

Celebrating HM The Queen's 90th birthday

There was a tremendous display of red, white and blue to mark this important occasion!

Spring trip to Bury St Edmunds

Our trip to Bury St Edmunds on 11 May went very well.

Unfortunately some people who had put their names down were unable to come along and they missed the chance to see the beautiful Cathedral and the Wednesday Market. The weather on the previous day had been absolutely awful but we were very lucky that it stayed dry and warm for us, and everyone had a good time.

[Creative Commons: Flickr – Dave Catchpole]

Kevin Quinn judges our 5th birthday cake competition

On 17 March 2016 we were delighted to have as our guest speaker Kevin Quinn who gave us a very interesting insight into the experiences of his family during 2013 when his daughter Frances Quinn entered and won the Great British Bake-off competition.

He also kindly agreed to judge the cakes which had been baked by our Trustees and Volunteers, and awarded first place to Jane Fraser - well done Jane!

The cake theme fitted in very well with the fact that Dementia Harborough celebrated its fifth birthday on that day, having been set up by Steve and Jean Kendall in 2011.

The Songbirds Ladies Choir of Market Harborough raised money for us with festive music and song.

In December 2015 the Songbirds Ladies Choir of Market Harborough arranged an evening of festive music and song, with proceeds being split between ourselves and the Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.

In fact they have raised the magnificent sum of £500 for us, and they came along to our Singing for Memories group on Tuesday 1st March to present the cheque.  We were delighted that they also sang for us, and then joined in our usual sing-a-long.

It was a great afternoon and everyone really enjoyed themselves - it was marvellous to see!

Our Chair Peter Raybould being presented with the cheque.

You're never too old for Yoga!

At our February 2016 Dementia Cafe, Anne-Marie Newland from Sun Power Yoga  came to lead us in a yoga session, and we were delighted to see how much everyone enjoyed it.

Leicester Mercury came along to see what we get up to, and have done a really good write-up on their website with some great photographs.  Follow the link and you can view them all in the picture gallery.

Leicester Mercury have also generously agreed that we may give away free printed copies of the photos to our members for them to keep or pass on to family and friends.

Dementia Harborough's trip to see Oliver! a great success

On 13th January 2016 we took a short coach ride to Leicester for the Curve Theatre’s inaugural dementia-friendly performance of the musical, Oliver!

It was a wonderful afternoon, with the theatre staff making us welcome from start to finish including serving tea and coffee in our seats at the interval.

At the end of a fantastic show full of memorable tunes, the Cast came to the audience for a meet and greet, which was handy since we’d managed to get the two front rows!

Everyone had a great time and we hope to make this an annual event with maybe an even bigger coach next time.

ITV Central News were at The Curve and a video of their report can be seen here.   See how may of our members you can spot!

Some photos from the day:-


The Foxton & Gartree Community Choir Carol Singing

The Foxton & Gartree Community Choir were Carol Singing through the streets of Foxton in Christmas week.

Dementia Harborough has been grateful for being the Choir's chosen charity throughout 2015, and the funds raised from this evening were donated to us (£170).

Robert Smyth Christmas Party

Robert Smyth Academy once again kindly invited us to join them for Christmas tea with singing/carols and gifts.

We were made very welcome, and as always their Christmas Parties are great fun for us as well as the staff and students.

Afternoon tea at Robert Smyth Academy

As you know we have a great relationship with Robert Smyth Academy, and the Students kindly invited everyone from Dementia Harborough to join them for afternoon tea on Thursday 8th October in recognition of World Mental Health Day.

After the event Sarah Blackler from Robert Smyth commented "On behalf of Wendy Budwal and myself can I thank all of you who came to the afternoon tea here in the 6th Form Centre yesterday afternoon.  Thanks to you we had a lovely turn out.  The students were chatty and all said how much they enjoyed it.

We are hoping to do a similar thing closer to Christmas with musicians and singing – we did this last year with presents being given to both patient and carer – and hope that we will be able to get a bigger turnout - maybe if you are free for this event you will be able to join us once again?"

Dementia Harborough represented at Harborough District Council's Ageing Well event

The Sport and Health Team within Harborough District Council organised an Ageing Well Event on Monday 5th of October 10am-2pm at the Congregational Church in Market Harborough, at which Dementia Harborough was delighted to be represented.

The aim of the day was to have lots of different partners and organisations involved via information stalls to give advice and support to older adults and carers.

Strawberry Cream Tea raises £630 for Dementia Harborough

The strawberry cream tea at St Nicholas Church Hall, The Green, Little Bowden raised £630 for Dementia Harborough!

Many thanks for all those who worked to organise this event and who conrtibuted in any way to its success.

Spring Outing to Lichfield, May 2015

Twenty nine of us enjoyed a fantastic day out in Lichfield on 19th May.

Ably organised by Peter Raybould a coach took us to Lichfield where we were able to explore the city.  We were then taken on a professionally guided tour of the magnificent three-spired cathedral, where we leant something of the 1400 year history of the buidling.

This was then followed by an excellent cream tea.

Despite the very poor weather forecast we manged to escape the showers (and hail storm!) largely unscathed, though we would have expected rather warmer weather in mid-May!

Living with Dementia - December 2014

The actress Prunella Scales has been talking to Joan Bakewell about living with dementia in this moving interview in The Guardian.

Also Helen Tomkins has kindly passed us a poem written by her mother Doreen Langmead about life with her husband who had a rare form of dementia. Sadly he passed away at the age of 78.


June 2014 - Outing to Seasons Garden Centre, Burton Latimer

One of our members Nev Mansfield sadly died in 2013 and his wife Maureen kindly requested that monies be donated to Dementia Harborough in lieu of flowers at the funeral.

Maureen was keen that all our members have an opportunity to benefit from this money and suggested that we arrange a coach trip out together. After some thought it was decided that a visit to Seasons Garden Centre in Burton Latimer would be a good venue as it was readily accessible and offered a good range of things to look at including plants, gifts, books etc as well as a café with a good choice of food and drink.

The date was fixed for 11 June and a coach with wheelchair access was booked for pickups in Kibworth and Market Harborough - in total we had nearly 40 people on the trip.

The Garden Centre lived up to expectations, giving us the chance to potter round, enjoy some lunch, buy some bits and pieces and sit in the sun outside.

Everyone enjoyed the day; it was marvellous to see the smiles and laughter and to remember Nev in this way. Thank you Maureen.

April 2014 - Our Founders win Pride in Harborough Award

We were delighted when our founders Steve & Jean Kendall were nominated for the Care in the Community category of the Pride in Harborough 2014 Awards and reached the Finals.

The Awards Dinner was held at the Three Swans Hotel in Market Harborough on Thursday 10th April and we were thrilled that Steve and Jean were chosen as winners of that category. We are sure that everyone who has seen them in action in the last three years will agree that this recognition is well-deserved!