March 2024 | Connect

May 2024 – Connect Rua 

Kia ora and welcome to our second pānui/newsletter of 2024. 

This issue focuses on our service delivery, highlighting some new programmes that are now underway. The new initiatives are the ‘Staying Active’ programme and the refreshed Living Well groups that we have renamed ‘Active Brain and Connection’ groups.

To support these new initiatives, we have recruited six volunteers and there is still room for more!  Do get in touch by emailing Alvy, our new volunteer co-ordinator at,  if you can spare a few hours a month to help.

To round out our service offerings, Sheena, our Clinical Lead/Educator has planned a full year of opportunities to learn about mate wareware dementia.   Read on for information about the first two courses this year.

Here at Dementia Wellington, we welcome your feedback and suggestions, and I invite you to let us know how we are doing, what are the gaps, and what we can do better by filling in our online feedback form. More detail on how you can get in touch is further on in the pānui.  You might have noticed our new website, we are particularly keen to hear how you are finding it, is it easy to navigate, can you find what you are looking for?

Also, in this pānui we introduce Rachel Pethig, our new Porirua area Dementia Advisor, and share exciting news about the upcoming Dementia Wellington Big Day Out on 28 May.

Ngā mihi mahana

Anne Schumacher, Chief Executive

Dementia Wellington Big Day Out  

Tuesday, 28 May, 10:30am till 3:30pm  

Boulcott’s Farm Golf Club, Military Road, Lower Hutt. 

Join the Dementia Wellington team for a relaxing and restorative day in Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt.

This is a special day out for carers and supporters, and it is free to attend. We have reserved ten places for people with dementia to come along for the day if needed, we will have a separate programme of activities organised, however, the primary purpose of the day is for carers and supporters to enjoy a day out as a special treat.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided and there will be wellbeing-based activities for an hour in the morning and afternoon, plus a free raffle!

The Big Day Out is a follow-up to the very successful day held in Paraparaumu last September and we wanted to make it available for more carers and supporters to enjoy.

This is some feedback from the day last year:

“It was a day where I could relax, participate or not (I could choose) with all the speakers, enjoy delicious food, and just feel separated from all the usual stress.”

As places are limited, registration is essential, please use the booking form here to register, or contact your Dementia Advisor for more information.

The next Kapiti Big Day Out is booked for Wednesday, 30 October, at the Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club – save the date!

Staying Active programme

The aim of Staying Active is to support people with mate wareware/dementia to access community activities and enjoy social interaction.

The programme content is driven by the Staying Active participants themselves who determine what activities they want to try, could be something new they have always, wanted to do, or to continue doing. Our team at Dementia Wellington work to make it happen by liaising with clubs and community groups and supporting people to settle in and establish themselves at the activity.

A core aspect of the Staying Active programme involves maintaining a list of community activities on the Dementia Wellington website that are suitable for people with mate wareware dementia to access. The list is still growing but you can see the range of current activities here.

If you are not already involved in the Staying Active programme and would like to know more, have a chat with your local Dementia Advisor.

Active Brain and Connection Group

In Wellington and Kāpiti we have been running Living Well groups for some years. This year we have made some changes and will offer the groups in Porirua and the Hutt Valley as well.

The name is changed to reflect more accurately the aims of the Group, which are:

To provide the opportunity for people in the early stages of mate wareware/dementia or Mild Cognitive Impairment to meet and connect with others who are in a similar situation.

To gain support from each other and share information/knowledge.

To engage in cognitively stimulating healthy brain activities.

Each group will have a maximum of ten people and meet for 1.5 hours with a Dementia Advisor and volunteer facilitating the group.

Our Dementia Advisors will discuss with you if the Active Brain and Connection Group is a suitable option for you.

Learning about mate wareware/dementia seminars 

Sheena, our Clinical Lead/Educator, has just completed a ‘Let’s Talk About Dementia’ series of five seminars at Summerset at the Course Retirement Village.  There was positive feedback with attendees welcoming the opportunity learn and to ask questions. Over 25 people attended each session.

The next ‘Let’s Talk About Dementia‘ series is at Tawa Anglican Church, 1 Lyndhurst Road, Tawa – Thurs 10am – 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 May. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about mate wareware/dementia in a relaxed and friendly environment and for free.

To register, please email

How are we doing?

Can you help us improve our services? We are keen to hear what you would like more of, how are we doing, and what can we do better?

The easiest way to provide feedback is by using this very short form, it will only take a couple to minutes to complete. If you have the time please click here.

Alternatively, feel free to email Anne directly,  I will look forward to hearing from you and thank you in advance for your feedback and suggestions.

Introducing Porirua Dementia Advisor

In January, we welcomed Rachel Pethig to our team. Who covers the Porirua, Tawa and Johnsonville area.

Kia ora koutou, I’m Rachel, the Dementia Advisor for the Porirua region. I have a nursing background and have worked in both New Zealand and the UK. I have experience in aged care, medical/ surgical settings, and twenty-five years in the primary health care environment. I have both personal and work experience of people living with dementia and look forward to assisting people and their whānau through their journey with mate wareware to live their best life.

Thank you Upper Hutt Cossie Club

We were thrilled to receive a significant donation from the Upper Hutt Cossie Club that was presented to us in March, see the presentation below. Dementia Wellington was the Club’s Charity of the Year for 2023.

During 2023 we enjoyed the support of the Cossie Club, in particular being able to use the Arcadia Cafe to hold our monthly Cog cafes that are an increasingly popular event for both people with dementia and their care partners.

The donation will be used to provide support and resources to people living with dementia and their families in Upper Hutt, with the launch of the Staying Active programme already underway.

From left to right:
Kathryn McCarrison, Dementia Wellington Trustee, Anne Schumacher, CE of Dementia Wellington with Don MacDonald, President of the Upper Hutt Cossie Club