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Evergreen Care UK Newsletter



Welcome to our Summer Newsletter.

"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 clothed me,

I was sick and you looked after me,

I was in prison aou came to visit me”nd y

Matthew 25 v 35-36

A warm welcome to...

Hi I'm Tina,

Anybody who has met me knows I am a very sociable person who loves to chat. I also love spending time with my elderly parents at the weekends, which is why I feel so lucky to now be working for Evergreen.

l joined the Evergreen Care team last month but my introduction to Evergreen was over a year before that when I responded to a request on Facebook for befrienders.

I could never have believed how 1 hour a week could have such an impact on somebody’s life. I have such a lovely relationship through befriending.

Since November 2022 I have also been volunteering at the Wilmington Elderberries café where I really enjoy meeting and chatting with guests, both new and regulars. Even though my professional career up until now has been based in finance I knew when I saw the job advertised to work alongside Jacqui as an Events Coordinator for Elderberries I had to go for it!

It's only been a month in the role but I love it, every day is totally different but everybody is so welcoming and patient. It's an honour to work for Evergreen and see the difference they make to the elderly community on a daily basis. We have lots of exciting trips and events planned and I can't wait to see where this role takes me next.

The Bexley Volunteer Excellence Awards
(more on page 3)


Friends Together Dates

Evergreen Friends Together The Yatch

(11.30am - 1.30pm) Tuesday 11th July Wednesday 9th August Tuesday 12th September

The Yacht Bexleyheath, DA7 5AE

Evergreen Friends Together Blackfen Library

(11am - 1pm) Every 4th Wednesday 26th July 23rd August

Blackfen Library Blackfen Road, Sidcup, DA15 9LU

Evergreen Friends Together Wilmington Community Church

(11am - 1pm) Every 1st Thursday 7th September

Wilmington Community Church Broad Lane, Wilmington, DA2 7AQ

Elderberries Vintage Tearooms

(Weekly café - excluding bank holidays)

​Elderberries | Belvedere

Monday (10am - 2pm)

Belvedere Baptist Church Nuxley Road, Belvedere, DA17 5JG

​Elderberries | Wilmington

​Monday (12pm - 3pm)

Wilmington Community Church Broad Lane, Wilmington, DA2 7AQ

Elderberries | Crayford

Tuesday (10.30am - 1.30pm)

Wolsley House Wolsley Close, Crayford, DA1 4BE

Elderberries | Bexley

Friday (2pm - 4pm)

Baldwyns Park Baptist Church Dartford Road, Bexley, DA5 2AT


Home Support Worker Spotlight

This month we are turning our spotlight onto one of our Home Support Workers.

This month's spotlight goes to...

Paula Taylor

I’ve been working for myself for approximately 18 years. I started off doing mainly cleaning jobs for elderly people then, as they became older and their health and mobility declined, I began to do more duties; taking them out shopping, to hospital, doctors, dentist appointments, gardening and personal care. I had nine of my own clients before Covid struck; five sadly passed away from this virus and two went into a care home early last year.

I was aware that Evergreen were at the end of my road but wasn’t sure whether I wanted to work for a company after all these years of being self employed. However, I got in touch and once I’d completed the recruitment process I started working for Evergreen as a Home Support and Well-Being Worker.

I’ve been with Evergreen just over one year now and love my job. Yes I do have some challenging times but it is a very rewarding job. Just to see a smile on my clients faces when I enter their homes means a lot. I’ve built up a lovely work relationship with all my people, they’re my work family. One of my elderly couples I go to both have different types of dementia, I spend quite a lot of hours there every week, they remind me of my own Nan & grandad, I go to some clients just for a well-being call, they’re often lonely with no family or friends that can go and visit, they just want a chat and company. I play games, have music on, go out in their garden or go for a walk or take them out in their wheelchairs either shopping or more recently I’ve been to Danson Park and Hall Place quite a few times.

I very much love my job with Evergreen, every day is different even with the same regular clients, I wish I had contacted Evergreen sooner. My care work keeps me very busy but I wouldn’t change it.

Paula Taylor

What is Home Support?

Our Home Support service is a paid service that meets the needs of older people who want or need a bit more support than can be provided by the befriending service.

Our home support workers do not carry out personal care but other than this there are a wide range of activities that they are able to get involved with, such as heating a meal, making a sandwich, prompting medication, trips out (where appropriate), shopping, wellbeing, and general assistance in the house including light housework, changing beds etc. We also provide calls to cover carer's breaks, or a much needed hour or two out of the home for family members who may be caring for their loved ones.

We allocate our home support staff to their own clients so that they can build a relationship and a good rapport, this gives reassurance to our clients when seeing a familiar and friendly face.

The cost is £21 per hour and we do ask for a minimum of an hour a week, the service is available Monday - Friday from 9am-5.30pm.

If you or anyone you know is interested to know more, please contact the office.


Bexley Volunteer Excellence Awards

On 7th June 2023, Bexley Volunteer Centre held an Awards evening as part of Volunteers’ week. Some of the Evergreen staff and volunteers were invited to attend and altogether over 120 people attended this lovely event at The Exchange in Erith. The awards were presented by the Mayor of Bexley Councillor Ahmet (Andy) Dourmoush, Chef and TV presenter Rosemary Shrager, Sir David Evennett MP, and Abena Oppong-Asare MP.

Sadly none of our Volunteers won in their categories, however every nominated volunteer or team received a certificate and it was a lovely evening celebrating the amazing difference that local organisations and their volunteers make in their local community.


Elderberries News

We’ve recently held some lovely events at some of our Elderberries cafés:

On the 22nd May we had a talk our Wilmington Elderberries Café from the Guide Dogs Association for the Blind. The guests got to meet some of the gorgeous therapy dogs.

We had a very interesting and informative talk about their training and the history of guide dogs and then everybody got to stroke the dogs and get a photo with them.


On the 12th June at Wilmington and the 19th at Belvedere, Evergreen had two sessions of Music As Therapy with Tilly.

Tilly played a game of Singo (Bingo with music) with the guests which everybody loved and treated us to a few songs, many guests got up and had a little dance too.

Thank you to The Guide Dogs Association

and Music As Therapy With Tilly

News from Suffolk

In this article, I thought it may be interesting to look at some of the issues facing social care and how this impacts on the decisions we make at Evergreen.

Elderly care is primarily provided through a combination of social care services and healthcare provisions. However, the care system has faced significant challenges, including funding constraints, increased demand, and staffing shortages.

Here are some key points:

Funding: The funding of elderly care has been a major issue. The UK government has faced criticism for underfunding social care, leading to a strain on resources and a lack of adequate support for older adults. There have been discussions and proposals for reforming the funding system, but no major changes have been implemented as of yet.

Social care services: Local authorities in the UK are responsible for providing social care services, including assistance with daily activities, home care, residential care, and nursing care. However, due to budget constraints, there have been limitations on eligibility criteria and a decrease in the availability of services. With 200 Care homes closing in the last year and an estimated 165k care staff vacancies and difficulties in recruitment, it is difficult to see how these issues will be overcome in the near future without significant funding from the Government.

The NHS has also faced challenges, such as long waiting times and increased pressure on hospitals due to an aging population. With the ongoing issues in the Social Care System, older people continue to remain in hospital unnecessarily due to lack of community support.

Dementia is a growing concern in the UK, and specialized care and support for individuals with dementia and their families are crucial. Many older adults rely on informal caregivers, usually family members, for support. However, caregiving can be physically and emotionally demanding. Carers UK research in 2022 estimates the number of unpaid carers could be as high as 10.6 million with 60% of those reporting significant impact on health and wellbeing.

Here at Evergreen, we come across all these issues as we seek to help those in need, and unfortunately, we are unable to help everyone who come to us looking for support for their loved ones. This is the burden we carry, and we struggle with some of the decisions we have to make. Finding the balance between expanding the services we can offer against the financial restraints we have as a Charity is a challenge we always face.

But there are two things you can do to help.

Firstly, if you are one of the people who need help or help for your loved one, please do give us a call. If we are unable to help you directly, we have built up good relationships with other organisations and charities who may be able to give you some of the support you need.

Secondly, please consider supporting us financially through our Community Partnership. Whether you are an individual and want to become a Friend of Evergreen, or a Business wanting to support a local charity, all your support will go towards our future plans to help us better serve our communities here in Bexley and Dartford, and hopefully beyond.

Thank you.

Pete & Diane.

Befrienders Needed

We are in desperate need of more volunteers for our Befriending service, sadly we now have a waiting list for the waiting list as the demand is high. We have a few volunteers available but they’re not in the right location for the clients currently on our waiting list and we just do not have enough volunteers coming through to meet the need.

Please spread the word amongst your family, friends, churches, clubs and to anyone you know who may be interested in joining us.

Proverbs 9:27: “Sweet friendships refresh the soul and awaken our hearts with joy”

If you're interested in finding out more about Evergreen's volunteering services,

please click below:

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