Evergreen Leaves Spring 2022
A warm welcome to...
Hi I am Jacqueline and very new to Evergreen, everyone has been so welcoming and supportive, I feel like part of the Evergreen Family already. I will be working with the Elderberries Vintage Café side of the charity. My role is to help expand their themed café into the local boroughs. I am excited to be coming on board at this crucial time where accessible social places are needed for the mature generation, to bring them to a place where so much more than just eating takes place. It’s proven to be great for their well- being, connection and a sense of belonging. With this being the heart and vision of Elderberries, I was asked to come on board with this challenging but very rewarding role. Evergreen having the Christian ethos and values at the heart of what they do,” I am all in”.
My background was Management within the manufacturing industry and then over the past 4 years within the Charity sector as a Debt Centre Manager helping those struggling with debt and poverty. Being a part of people’s journey in supporting them to becoming debt free has been a real growth for me and has made me realise that I want to continue to serve within the Christian charity sector. I hope to bring my skills into my new role and continue seeing lives being transformed through the love and relationship of the work that Evergreen do on a daily basis.
Save the date
TO ALL EVERGREEN VOLUNTEERS, we are planning a special thanksgiving and celebration evening for all our volunteers. This is to thank you all for your amazing commitment and contribution to Evergreen. Please “save the date” for the evening of Wednesday 18th May 2022. This event is for all volunteers. We will be in touch with you all with further details in the near future, we would love to see as many of you as possible.
Dates for your diary
Befrienders Coffee Morning (Talk from big energy saving network)
Thursday 17th Mrach 2022, 10:30am
Belvedere Baptist Church
Evergreen Friends Together
Tuesday 15th March & Wednesday 13th April 2022, 11.30am to 1.30pm
Evergreen Friends Together
Wednesday 23rd March & Wednesday 27th April 2022, 11am to 1pm
Carole Porch is one of our lovely Elderberries volunteers, she helps out on a Monday at our Belvedere café.
Carole started in March 2020, just 3 weeks before lockdown started!
Carole learnt about Elderberries from one of her friends who works with Evergreen. Carole was newly retired and had some time to fill in between the school drop offs for her grandchildren. She came along for a visit and was given a friendly welcome by the team so she decided to give it a try and the rest is history.
A particular highlight for Carole was the 2021 Christmas lunch as it was the first Elderberries Christmas she has attended, she thought the entertainment was great and she enjoyed seeing all our guests enjoying themselves.
We asked Carole what she had found surprising or challenging about the role; she wasn't expecting much training. However, she said that the training has been very helpful and got her brain cells moving!!
Carole particularly enjoys how relationships with the guests have developed during her time, she enjoys being able to welcome familiar faces, chat to them and offer a listening ear.
Carole feels she now has a good understanding of what Evergreen do, she hadn’t realised how involved we are in the community and how much people rely on our services.
Thank you Carole, we are so delighted to have you as a volunteer on the Elderberries team.
The world can be a scary place sometimes
We don’t know about you but the 2020s has not been our favourite decade! Hearing what’s in the news can have a troubling effect on our mental health and wellbeing. An Evergreen friend sent us these words by Kevin Mayhew. We found them a comfort and hope you do too:
I was regretting the past and fearing the future
Suddenly my Lord was speaking:
My name is I AM
He paused, I waited, he continued:
When you live in the past, with its mistakes and regrets, it is hard, I am not there
My name is not I WAS
When you live in the future with its problems and fears
It is hard, I am not there
My name is not I WILL BE
When you live in the moment, it is not hard, I am here
my name is I AM
We need volunteers!
Its lovely to see the relationships blossom and grow between our volunteers and clients.
Unfortunately, we still need more volunteers. Please can you help us by telling your friends and family about the fantastic work you do for Evergreen and seeing if anyone is interested in volunteering.
We have opportunities in Befriending, as you know we ask a minimum of 1 hour a week and carefully match people on hobbies, interests and location.
We are opening more Elderberries Vintage Cafes and will need a team of volunteers to open each one. This can include serving, food preparation, setup, clear down and washing up.
Please follow the link below to our volunteer page where you can read more about what we need and send us a message letting us know how you can be a part of the Evergreen Care UK family.
Befrienders' coffee morning
Join us for our next Befrienders’ Coffee Morning Workshop 17th March. The Big Energy Savings Network will be coming along to talk to us about:
· Understanding utility bills & lowering energy bills
· How to identify fuel poverty
· Energy saving in the home
· Grants, discounts & freebies
· Different energy tariffs
· Keeping vulnerable households warm
Please feel free to invite your client if they are able to get there. No booking required.
News from Suffolk
The 24th February marked our first full year living in Suffolk. Doesn’t time fly? And 2022 marks our ninth year of providing services to the Bexley Borough.
Thankfully, we are coming out of the Covid crisis and our way of life is returning to some sort of normality. But, as we look forward to a new season in the life of Evergreen, a new crisis is looming on the horizon.
Many will be watching in horror at the atrocities which are taking place in Ukraine and may be fearful at where this may lead. Others may be feeling a sense of hopelessness due to the inability to help. What drives a person to take the decision Putin has is beyond us all.
As I spent a quiet time reflecting on what is happening in the world, desperately trying not to ask God “why”, I was reminded of the book of Exodus in the Bible. You may know the story of Moses going to Egypt and demanding the release of his people, and the subsequent plagues God sent to them. There is a part where the Egyptians are coming after the Israelites and they cry out in terror. Moses response was: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
I may not know why, or how this conflict will end. I may feel a bit hopeless due to the inability for me to do anything really practical. But one thing I can do is be still, pray, and ask the Lord to bring deliverance for the people of Ukraine.
May I suggest you do the same, whatever your faith or background. And limit your intake of news, as this will only fuel your anxiety. There are places taking donations of clothing, blankets and foods etc as well as financial donations. This is one practical way we can help.
There may be some financial challenges for Evergreen as inflation rises, fuelled by the war in Ukraine, but we will not stop our plans of expansion for the future, but trust we will have all we need, both financially, and enough staff and volunteers. Evergreen started with a simple idea, and nothing else, and God has supplied us with all our needs.
In the meantime, let us continue supporting those in our community whom have been through or have known the effects of war, and are desperately in need of the love and help we can give them. We are seeing a rise in need for support within our community and still need more Volunteers and Home Support Staff to meet that need. If you know anyone who has a heart for older people, and would like to volunteer or work with a local Charity that truly cares for their staff and volunteers as much as their clients, ask them to give us a call.
Thank you everyone, and may peace be with you all,
Pete & Diane.
Until we meet again
On 9th March a group of us said a sad farewell to our Trustee and friend Chris Bryant. Chris had been with Evergreen from the very beginning and was a huge support to us, not least because of his calm and kind character but also for his love of writing policies and procedures, a rare gifting. Many of you will remember Chris from the induction training days that he and Diane did together. He was a true gentleman and he will be very missed by all of us who knew him. We thank God for him and give thanks that he is now with his Heavenly Father and free of pain.