EVERGREEN LEAVES: Autumn 2022 Chris Bryant Awards
By Mick Cunningham, Support Services Coordinator
Evergreen has been keen for some time to acknowledge the great work achieved by their Home Support team.
A special evening in the name of Chris Bryant, (a former trustee and friend of Evergreen who sadly passed away last year) was chosen to take place at Belvedere Baptist church on Friday 16th September, this being Chris’s church and the birth place of Evergreen.
Staff gathered together for “bubbles” and a lovely curry cooked by Darren’s fair hand using his mum’s traditional recipe. After refreshments, Peter Kot our CEO, gave an emotional speech outlining all the good work that Chris had done for Evergreen and expressing his deep-felt loss on a personal level.
Ruth, Lucy and Mick our Home Support coordinating team then invited up each member of the Home Support team individually under a round of applause to receive a certificate in recognition of dedication and commitment to their clients. Each one pausing for photographs under a beautiful balloon arch created by Lucy.
It was then time to award seven special awards for “going that little extra”. Each recipient was greeted with a few quotes received from grateful clients. A specially designed trophy was then presented to each by Chris’s widow Linda.
After a presentation of flowers to Linda by Peter and a few words from our new patron Diane Kot, the rest of the evening was spent mingling with a few chosen tunes and a large chocolate cake.
We are hoping to repeat this successful evening on a yearly basis.
Dates for your diary
Evergreen Friends Together
Tuesday 11th October &Wednesday 16th November, 11.30am - 1.30pm
Evergreen Friends Together
Wednesday 26th October & Wednesday 23rd November, 11am - 1pm
Volunteers Coffee Morning with guest speaker
Thursday 3rd November from 10am
Belvedere Baptist Church
Volunteers’ Coffee Morning with guest speaker
Our next Volunteers’ coffee morning will take place on Thursday 3rd November and we will have Peter from Prowse Probate and Trustee Services Ltd coming to talk about Power of Attorney. Usually these coffee mornings are for volunteers only, however if you are a befriender please feel free to invite your clients if you feel it would be helpful to them too. Please call us or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place(s).
Venue: Belvedere Baptist Church
50 Nuxley Road
On Thursday 3rd November 2022
Refreshments from 10am, talk to start at 10.30am
Limited parking is available on site, public car park 100 metres away.
Volunteer Spotlight This month Teresa Dicks is sharing her experience of volunteering with us, Teresa has been with us from the start and has had many roles within Evergreen, she still volunteers as a befriender and for Elderberries.
"I remember hearing Pete and Di Kot talk about their vision for helping and supporting elderly people in Bexley at a presentation in Belvedere Baptist Church, almost 10 years ago. They spoke with such heartfelt enthusiasm, and with such care and concern for older people in our borough, that I could not help but listen and be interested. Coming from a social work background I was aware of the many problems and challenges that faced families and individuals within our communities, not least our older population. The fact that this new project would be based on Christian principals and aim to reflect God’s love through the work it would be undertaking, particularly spoke to me and I knew immediately it was something I would like to be part of.
I began volunteering very soon after the official launch of Evergreen in the role of a Befriending Co-ordinator. It was not work I was familiar with, but working alongside the admin team and having the support of Pete helped me gain confidence and develop the role, and I quickly grew to love meeting clients and interviewing volunteers. Seeing befriending relationships form and become important and valued was so worthwhile.
After a couple of years I moved out of the Co-ordinators role and into Befriending, something I still continue to do. I have been blessed to have had long-term befriending relationships in the past 5 years with 2 delightful women. I can only hope my visits have brought them as much pleasure as they have given me, as my life has undoubtedly been enriched by my contact with them.
When the announcement came that Evergreen was going to create a Vintage Tea Room in Belvedere, I was keen to join the team of volunteers and see that come into being. I believed it was an exciting new venture that was sure to be a success by bringing people over the age of 60 together into a safe and welcoming space, whereby they could meet for friendship and refreshments. To see Elderberries flourish and expand the way it has into other areas of Bexley is wonderful, and I am now looking forward to joining the team at Wolsley House as they prepare to open an Elderberries there.
Evergreen has become a significant part of my life since I first heard Pete and Di share what was a God inspired desire to serve older people in Bexley. I’ve been so pleased to be part of an organisation which has grown into the respected and valued service it now is. I am grateful for all I have learned and experienced through volunteering with Evergreen and for the relationships I’ve made. I hope that many more people will benefit from all that Evergreen offers as it prospers – both the elderly receiving from the service, and volunteers who give to it". -Teresa Dicks
Elderberries News This month we had the pleasure of opening 2 new Elderberries vintage tea rooms in Bexley making a total of 4 in different locations and on different days. We have a lovely team of volunteers serving at each café and the venues are all decorated in vintage style with lovely tablecloths, crockery and fresh flowers.
We had 2 successful launch days for our new Elderberries. Christchurch opened on Saturday 3rd September and Wolsley House on Tuesday 6th September. Our Elderberries run weekly (unless stated otherwise on our website). It was great to see both regular and new faces enjoying a warm welcome at our new venues. They all enjoyed the wonderful fresh breakfasts, hot food and homemade cake. Along with the background music was the noise of good conversations and the stirring of teaspoons in tea cups.
If you are over 60 or would like to accompany someone who is and have not had a chance to visit our new venues, please come along. We would love to see you there - no booking needed.
CAN YOU HELP?
As always, we are in need of volunteers to meet the high demand for Befrienders. If you are a member of a club, church or organisation we would love to come and speak at one of your meetings to spread the word about Evergreen, our services and our volunteering opportunities. Please contact us on 01322 431765 or email email@example.com. #TOGETHERWECANMAKEADIFFERENCE
News from Suffolk
Hello all! Well, what a lot has happened since our last newsletter. We have had a new Prime Minister, a new King, turmoil in the markets and a continuing war in Ukraine.
Also many people will be thinking how they are going to survive through these winter months with the increase in energy costs, the increase in the cost of living and food, and the cost to fill you car up with petrol…all very gloomy.
But let’s stop for a moment and look at this crisis from another angle. The good news is there are a few things we can do that cost us nothing…..an act of kindness, or looking after your neighbour. As the winter costs start to bite, can I ask you all to keep an eye out on your neighbours, especially the elderly. Maybe pop in to make sure they have enough to eat and are warm and OK. Or maybe invite them in for a meal or two. There are quite a number of churches and other venues thinking of opening up their premises so people can come, keep warm and have something to eat and socialise with others. Do you have the time to go with an elderly neighbour, or drop them off and pick them up?
Maybe you can rally your neighbourhood to collect food for your local food banks, who always require more stock to help those in need. You could possibly volunteer for a local charity that urgently needs more people to help provide much needed services.
If we can come together to help each other, our communities where we live will become stronger, new friendships will be formed, and those small random acts of kindness can make all the difference to a person’s life…… and yours.
So, the challenges are before us, but together we can all get through it by keeping an eye out for each other and looking for where a simple act of kindness can make a difference.
If you are, or care for, an older person and need some help or advice, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01322 431765
Pete & Diane.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF PRAYER?
We do and over the years we have seen many answers to our prayers for Evergreen. There is a group of us who meet together every Tuesday morning from 9am to 10am to pray for the needs of Evergreen, our clients, staff and volunteers. You can join us in person at our new offices in Wilmington Community Church or by zoom using the following information: Meeting ID: 844 3800 9816 Passcode: 276945. We would love to see you, so please do join us if you are free on a Tuesday morning.