Activity Groups

We run ‘Keeping Active’ and ‘Active Minds’ groups for people with dementia or other memory problems in Great Dunmow, Harlow and Epping, which also provides a few hours break for family Carers.


The groups are ideal for people with mild to moderate dementia who would benefit from physical and/or mental stimulation and fun. We are not able to offer a service to people with advanced dementia or to those with personal care needs.

Keeping Active groups help people to engage in a wide range of physical activities while having fun and socialising. This includes seated exercise, indoor bowling, music and dance and a range of team games.

The benefits of keeping active are well researched and shown to improve the symptoms of dementia and communication skills as well as improving cardiovascular health and flexibility. Keeping active reduces the risk of falls by improving muscle strength and balance.

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Active Minds groups help people to engage in a range of activities including musical bingo, reminiscence discussions, puzzles and quizzes as well as arts and crafts.

Active minds builds upon the positive elements of cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) which research indicates improves memory and feelings of wellbeing. Active Minds aims to stimulate parts of the brain which may not have been used for some time and also promote socialisation and building confidence.

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Keeping Active and Active Minds are held as follows:


Great Dunmow group
Dourdan Pavilion
The Causeway


Harlow group
St Andrew’s Church
The Stow
CM20 3AF


Epping group
Quakers Meeting Hall
Hemnall Street
CM16 4LL

Keeping Active morning sessions run from 10.00am until 12.30pm each week.

If people are also staying for the afternoon session, they can bring their own lunch and socialise with others in the group as they eat.

Active Minds afternoon sessions run from 1.00pm until 3.30pm each week.

There is a charge of £18 per session, therefore £36 for a full day.  Lunch is not supplied.

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West Essex Activity Groups staff:

Clare Savva, Groups Manager,

Cathy Brown, Group Facilitator, Great Dunmow,

Cassie Baker, Group Facilitator, Harlow and Epping,

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We also have highly valued and experienced volunteers helping at each Activity Group.


Action for Family Carers has taken over management of the groups which were previously run by the Alzheimer’s Society. If you know of anyone who might benefit from joining the groups or would like more information, please call Clare Savva on 0300 770 80 90 or email her on