This service has been an interesting exercise in making plans I’ve somehow been “elected” (unopposed) as chair of my local service, and it’s been interesting to see how nothing quite seemed to work out the way we intended it to. Some of that is because of the nature of the service of course as we have to accommodate for what the dementia patients we work with want regardless of what activities we had planned. A lot of it though is purely us: the idea was we would take the first few sessions to plan the activities we would do for the next season or so then run them according to plan from then. We actually ended up only getting one planning session (two including the introduction) and people seem to have developed a habit of happening to miss the sessions which they were meant to be running.
The point though isn’t that everything is collapsing. It’s more along the lines that it’s a miracle that we’ve managed to somehow pull off every session without logistical collapse given the somewhat chaotic events behind the scene. It does show the value of planning what you are doing weeks in advance. Because we actually spent that first session making sure all (or most) of our materials were ordered/accounted for, even if somehow the people who were meant to be running the activity on a particular week don’t show up (which I thought was going to be the case last week) we can just go and collect what we need from the service office and have someone else run the activity. Just as importantly perhaps, is that we’ve learned a lesson from last year’s group and actually included two plans/activities for every week so that if, for example, if we were planning on doing origami with the elderly at the lodge, but the person who knows how to do origami “disappears”, as happened last week, we would still have the other activity we were planning, Jenga, to do instead. That’s what’s helped us run our two sessions so far without much issue. Hopefully things stay that way.