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Evergreen Care UK Newsletter


 

EVERGREEN LEAVES: Autumn 2023

Welcome to our Autumn 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 and you came to visit me.

Matthew 25 v 35-36

 

Lovely New Friendships...


Our befriending team have been busy this year, recruiting volunteers, visiting new clients and arranging befriending matches.


So far this year Caroline and Wendy have set up 32 new befriending relationships in the Bexley borough and Julia has arranged 9 new befriending relationships in Dartford. You can see some of these lovely new friendships in the photos below.



We are, as ever, so grateful to the new volunteers who have joined us; to our existing volunteers who continue visiting, telephoning and supporting their clients; and to those volunteers whose befriending relationships have sadly ended this year but who have willingly agreed to befriend someone new.


We are in continual need of volunteers as the demand for our services remains high. We have had to close our waiting list and are taking enquiries only at present. We prioritise people who are completely isolated and alone, or people can move on to the waiting list if we have a suitable volunteer for them.


We know how blessed we are that you are all great advocates for Evergreen - can we ask that you keep telling your friends and family about us and please let them know that we are always looking for new volunteers.


THANK YOU!! We would not be able to do what we do without the amazing volunteers we have and we are never able to thank you all enough, but please know that you are very much appreciated.


Befriending Team

 
Friends Together Dates

​Evergreen Friends Together (Bexleyheath)

​(11.30am-1.30pm) Wednesday 11th October Tuesday 14th November

The Yacht Bexleyheath, DA7 5AE

​​Evergreen Friends Together (Sidcup)

(11am to 1pm) Every 4th Wednesday: 25th October

22nd November

​​Blackfen Library Blackfen Road, Sidcup, DA15 9LU

​Evergreen Friends Together (Wilmington)

(11am-1pm) Every 1st Thursday: 5th October 2nd November 7th December

Wilmington Community Church Broad Lane, Wilmington, DA2 7AQ


 
Spotlight On... The Office

This month we are turning our spotlight onto our lovely office manager Cathy Turner.


I am the office manager for Evergreen. I first started my journey with Evergreen in 2014 when I became a befriender for a lady called Joan. Joan was a concert pianist and travelled all over the world. When I visited we would chat and look at her huge library of books and photo albums reminiscing about her experiences. I love history so I very

much enjoyed my time with her.

My role within the office started in 2016 when there were only about half a dozen home support staff and 4 paid workers in the office (including Pete & Di the co-founders). I have seen Evergreen grow from strength to strength in the past 7 years. We now have 52 home support workers and 160 volunteers. Our services have expanded and now include 4 Elderberries Cafes. They are all beautifully decorated as vintage tea rooms and we are blessed with having such a lovely friendly team of volunteers who welcome our clients and wait on them. We wouldn’t be where we are now without the support and dedication of our volunteers, support workers and donors.



We like to consider ourselves the Evergreen Family and I believe that’s because everyone understands the ethos which is in essence being kind, caring and respectful. Everyone has a huge heart and I am proud to be a part of the team. My daughter Amy has recently given birth to my first grandchild Ada Lily and I can’t wait for her to meet her Evergreen Family.


Cathy Turner


Thank you Cathy and welcome to the Evergreen family little Ada, we are all looking

forward to cuddles soon.

 
Chaplaincy Service

Did you know that Evergreen offer a free chaplaincy service to all our clients, staff and

volunteers?


Do you sometimes feel alone with nobody to talk to? Do you worry about the future but don't want to share your anxieties with your family members? Perhaps you have had a major life event happen that has made you question everything. Then maybe a chat with one of our Chaplains can help.


A Chaplain is here to listen to your concerns and not insert themselves into your story. They are there to allow you to express your feelings in a safe environment and enable a journey of healing to happen. Unlike other Therapists, Chaplains won't shy away from talking about spirituality if this is something you find helpful.


We understand life can sometimes be difficult and have many challenges. Our Chaplaincy Service is here to help you through these times so you do not have to take these journeys alone.


Our Chaplaincy service is fully confidential and can involve a simple phone call or a visit to your home.


For more information please contact the office (01322 431 765).

 


 
Elderberries News

It’s been a busy few weeks at Elderberries again, we had Irish Pete in this week who sang us lots of great classics along with some Irish tunes - both guests and volunteers were singing and dancing along.


We also had First and Quirky Tours visit our Belvedere and Wolsley House cafes and the guests had a virtual tour around Fitzrovia and Rotherhithe. Both tours were very interesting with lots of information and fun facts.

Thank you to ‘Irish Pete’ and Chris Burton of First and Quirky Tours

 
Elderberries Christmas Lunch Dates

  • Tuesday 5th December - Wolsley House, Crayford

  • Monday 11th December - Wilmington Community Church

  • Friday 15th December - Baldwyns Park, Bexley

  • Monday 18th December - Belvedere Baptist Church


Please contact the office (01322 431 765) for further information or to book.

 
News from Suffolk

Samuel’s Story


Samuel's days blended into one another, marked only by the visits of different care staff who came and went like fleeting shadows. Each day, a different face would appear at his doorstep, offering assistance with tasks that had once been simple but now seemed insurmountable for his frail body.


Despite their well-intentioned efforts, Samuel couldn't help but feel a profound sense of isolation. He yearned for more than just the physical care they provided; he longed for companionship, for someone to sit with him by the fireplace and listen to the stories he held within. But the revolving door of caregivers offered no opportunity for such connection.


As the sun dipped below the horizon each evening, Samuel's heart weighed heavier. The loneliness that had been a constant companion had now grown into a relentless tormentor. In the quiet of his cottage, he would often find himself lost in memories of happier times, when he had a loving family and friends who laughed and shared in his joys and sorrows.


His eyes, once bright and full of life, now glistened with unshed tears as he gazed at the faded photographs on the mantel. There was one picture that held a special place in his heart - a portrait of his late wife, Evelyn. Her warm smile and gentle eyes were a balm to his soul, but they also served as a stark reminder of the void her absence had left.


Each night, Samuel would speak to her, as if she were still there beside him. He would share his thoughts, his regrets, and his longing for the days when they had danced together under the moonlight. The sound of his own voice provided a fragile solace, a fleeting illusion that he was not entirely alone.


Outside, the world continued to spin, oblivious to Samuel's silent suffering. The seasons changed, and the trees that surrounded his cottage shed their leaves, echoing the passage of time. Samuel, too, felt the weight of the years pressing down upon him, the weight of missed opportunities and the ache of loneliness.


In his solitude, Samuel's heart became a fragile vessel, teetering on the edge of despair. He yearned for the kind of connection that had slipped through his fingers, for the warmth of a loving touch, for the simple joy of shared laughter. But each morning brought a new face, a new set of hands that offered care but left his heart untouched.


And so, the old man, Samuel, lived out his days in the fading light of his memories, his heart heavy with the weight of a lonely existence. He had survived wars, endured hardships, and weathered the storms of life, but the one battle he couldn't conquer was the ache of loneliness that consumed him from within.


The above short story is a piece of fiction, but so highlights the plight of so many older people. With the problems this country faces at this time, there seems to be few ideas, finances or will to tackle the problems of ageing, leaving many, such as Samuel, living but not alive.


There probably is a real Samuel out there, and a George, an Agnes, a Betty, a Fred………the list is endless. We can’t pretend we can help them all, but with your support, we can make a difference to one life, and another, and another, one life at a time.


If you have an hour or two a week spare and could visit someone who is living a life like Samuel, please consider joining our Befriending Team. You will be making such a difference to someone, and it will change your life also.


Don’t have the time? Maybe consider becoming a “Friend of Evergreen” and donating £10 a month or whatever you can afford to our cause. Your financial support helps us to continue this much needed service and helps put a smile on Samuel’s face.


Please contact Wendy or Caroline on 01322 431 765 for more information.

Thank you,

Pete.

 

Pete’s story reminded me of the Starfish story which you may be familiar with: A man took his daily walk along the beach after a storm, he saw a young woman reaching down to the sand, picking up a starfish and gently throwing it into the ocean. ‘Young lady, why are you doing that?’ he asked. She replied ‘The sun is up and the tide is going out and if I do not throw them in they will die’. ‘But do you not realise that there are miles and miles of beach and thousands of starfish all along it? You cannot possibly make a difference’.


The young woman listened politely, reached down, picked up another starfish and gently threw into the sea, saying ‘It made a difference to that one’.


Together we CAN make a difference.

 

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