"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothes me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me". Matthew 25 v 35 - 36
Evergreen Leaves, Summer 2022
On the evening of 18th May, we had the great pleasure of hosting a 'Thanksgiving
Event' for our volunteers. We are so delighted that many of you were able to come. We had drinks on arrival, a live band, and evening "afternoon tea" and an awards ceremony. We recognised volunteers who had achieved their bronze (2 years) and silver (5years) long service awards. Many of you are well on your way to achieving gold (10 years).
We had a wonderful evening and are very grateful to all those who helped to make the event a great success. We would like to thank; The Angelus Centre for provide the beautiful venue, those who donated food and drink or baked scones and cakes, the Band and last but certainly not least, our colleagues and spouses who helped with organising and serving throughout the night. We couldn't have done this event without all of your support!!
"A big thank you to all at Evergreen for a lovely evening at the Angelus Centre last Wednesday. The venue was superb as was the food, wine and of course the company. Also, a big shout out to the Band who really made the evening a success".
Dates for your diary
Evergreen Friends Together
Wednesday 13th July & Tuesday 9th August. 11.30am-1.30pm
Evergreen Friends Together
Wednesday 27th July & Wednesday 24th August. 11am to 1pm
Befrienders Coffee Morning
Wednesday 3rd August. 10am-Noon
Befrienders Coffee Morning
We've moved! We would love you to come and see us at our new office. Join us for tea, coffee and cakes at: Wilmington Community Church 39 Broad Lane Wilmington DA2 7AQ Parking is available on site. Please let us know if you are coming for catering purposes.
VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT This month Kay is sharing her experience of befriending with us. Kay and her client were
Evergreen's first ever befriending relationship and their friendship is still going from strength to strength.
'I have always enjoyed chatting with the older generation, whether it was at a bus stop, in the que at a supermarket or an elderly neighbour as they were passing by and one thing I always came away with was, that conversation ended too soon. "I shouldn't keep you" seemed to be the mantra on both sides. The assumption being that we are all so busy just to stand and chat, a sad reality of how modern life is perceived. When I was introduced to Evergreen and told about their befriending service, it seemed like the perfect fit for me. I was introduced to "my friend" who was 83 at the time, she celebrated her 93rd birthday last week. In that time, we've shared and made a lot of memories, she is someone my family always ask after and I know our friendship is as important to her as it is to me.
So many older people feel as their peer group decline they loose a bit of themselves. They may be a mother, grandmother and even have a wonderful family but what many miss is a friendship where they can be themselves, no expectations, no judgement, just themselves. We all have that friend if we are lucky, those friends that we can be ourselves with and make memories, share laughter, prop up, be propped up and just be with. It is hard to imagine that wont always be the case. I always come away from my visits feeling a little lighter and often a lot wiser.
With so many years of life experience behind our elderly friends, there is always something to be learnt from their experiences. I feel very blessed to have found such a special person. I would encourage anyone to become a befriender because I believe it will not only be the life of "your friend" that will be enriched, I certainly know mine has been'.
Thank you Kay, we love hearing about the friendships that have developed between put volunteers and clients and we think you have summed up the ethos of Evergreen perfectly!
Afternoon Tea On Tuesday 5th July, a small group of clients, befrienders and Home Support Workers attended an afternoon tea. This was all beautifully made and presented by Mary, an ex chef and friend of Evergreen. She kindly opened up her home to welcome us all. She made sandwiches, warm scones with clotted cream and jam, bara brith cake and a delicious lemon cake.
We had a lovely time with plenty of conversation and Mary plans to host these events on a regular basis from September. She can accommodate up to 12 people each time so please keep an eye out for future emails from us and let your clients know - clients are welcome to attend alone if they wish or if they are unable to make their own way can be accompanied by their befriender or Home Support Worker.
CAN YOU HELP?
We really appreciate all of you and all the time you dedicate to your clients, uits lovely to se your relationships blossom and grow and we love seeing you ate events. Unfortunately, we still need more volunteers in Both Bexley and Dartford. We have had to close our befriending referrals and are struggling to find befrienders on our waiting list (we do have some volunteers but sadly they are not a suitable "match" for the waiting clients, e.g. wrong location or client would like a befriender who can drive to take them out).
Please help spread the word, tell your friends and family about the fantastic work that you do for Evergreen. As you know, we ask for a minimum of 1 hour a week and carefully match based on interests and location. If you are reading this and interested in volunteering with us, please click the button below.
On Monday 4th July, guests at our Belvedere Elderberries café were treated to a visit from Guide Dogs UK. They started with the history of guide dogs and went on to talk about the work that they do with the guide dogs. Each guide dog has to pass very strict training before they are matched with their new owner (a bit like our befrienders!)
Our guests really enjoyed meeting the dogs and the volunteers. They asked lots of questions and saw some of the dog do a demonstration of some training. We are very grateful to Guide Dogs UK for coming along and sharing details of their important ongoing work. We hope to invite them to our Baldwyn's Park Elderberries in the future.
Other exciting news on the Elderberries front, we are in the process of opening 2 new Elderberries in the next few months. One at Wolsley House, Crayford which will be on a Tuesday 10am-2pm serving hot food. The other at Christchurch, Bexleyheath which will be on a Saturday morning, serving a range of breakfast/brunch options.
News from Suffolk
Unbelievably, we are already half way through 2022. Where did the time go?
There is a lot going on at Evergreen at the moment. As you are probably all aware, we moved into new offices at Wilmington, a major task but we made it with very few glitches. Please do pop in and have a look at our new offices when you get a minute. We have also taken a small Bexley office in the Belvedere Baptist Church, going back to our roots where Evergreen was birthed so to speak.
Our second Elderberries Centre was opened in Baldwyn's Park Baptist Church and is going from strength to strength. We will be opening our third centre at Wolsley House, Crayford in the next few months with a further three planned before the end of the year. Please do tkae your clients to one of these centres if you are able to. They are nice friendly places to pop into for a cup of tea and to meet new people.
Looking forward, it has been decided by the Trustees and Senior Management that it is time for Evergreen to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which will enable us to provide a Regulated Domiciliary Care Service. There are several paths we can go down to achieve this and all possibilities are in discussion at the moment. This is an exciting and important step which will lead to other opportunities in the future, so watch this space.
Well summer is nearly upon us. Kids will be breaking up from school and everyone will be taking their summer holidays. I do hope you all enjoy your breaks and hopefully enjoy some sunshine as well.
A big thank you to you all for the wonderful care you give to our clients and for the difference you make in each and every life you touch. Keep up the great work, it is so very needed in these difficult times.
Best Wishes Pete & Diane.