Angels celebrate 10 years of supporting others

19 Nov 2018

The Local Angels Committee celebrated their 10th year raising funds for Jewish Care’s services in Redbridge. Yesterday, 140 women enjoyed the tenth annual lunch organised by the Committee with songs from musical theatre performed by VOXX entertainment. Chaired by Jewish Care Trustee, Gayle Klein, The Committee has raised over £280,000 over the past decade with yesterday’s event at the Marriott Waltham Abbey raising over £26,000.

Philippa Land, who lives in Clayhall, spoke on behalf of herself and her sister, Jacqueline Leader, about their personal connection with Jewish Care. Not only was their aunt a resident of Jewish Care’s Vi & John Rubens House, Jacqueline’s husband, Cyril has been a resident at the Ilford home since 2015.

Up until ten years ago, Cyril, 75, was leading an active life, working as an electronics engineer. However, an urgent quadruple bypass caused him to have multiple mini strokes, which in turn brought on other medical conditions.

With support from the social work team, Cyril began to attend Jewish Care’s Redbridge Jewish Community Centre regularly for a couple of years, where he enjoyed the warm sociable and stimulating environment. However, as his condition deteriorated, he began to attend The Dennis Centre for people living with dementia where Jacqui and Phillipa’s father, had also been a client a few years earlier. Eventually Cyril’s health declined and as he needed professional care, he moved into Vi & John Rubens House in Redbridge.

Phillipa told guests at the lunch, “Jewish Care services in Essex have always been a lifesaver for our family and we know we are not unique in being touched by their work. At some point, most families in our community will call on Jewish Care. We wanted to help The Local Angels raise as much money as they can today so that Jewish Care is there for your family in your time of need.”

“It’s important to us that a family member can visit Cyril every day and the main reason this is possible is that the home is in Essex. We know his every need is being met and what’s also important is that the staff, and of course the amazing volunteers have an understanding of Jewish culture so that Cyril can enjoy going to the Shul in the home on Shabbat as well as celebrating and observing all of the Jewish festivals through the year.”

Over the past ten years, funds raised by Local Angels have helped to support services across the North East. They have helped to pay for the weekly Memory Way Café at The Dennis Centre where clients, families and carers can get the support and information they need, and clients are supported in a therapeutic, social and cultural environment, enabling them to maintain independence and enhance their wellbeing.

Projects have been funded by the Committee range from Redbridge Jewish Community Centre and the Care Buses that take isolated people there to Mitkadem Mental Health Wellbeing services and subsidised 1 to 1 care for children with disabilities, so they can attend the holiday scheme at RJCC. 

At the lunch, Gayle Klein who was presented flowers at the end of the event to thank her for her dedication over the past 10 years, said, “Thanks to the incredible support of the Essex community at Local Angels over the past 10 years we have raised over £280,000 for Jewish Care’s local services. The local Jewish community is aging and the area that is covered by Jewish Care now extends from East London to Epping. With the donations from The Local Angels events over the years we have been able to do so much to help those who rely on support from Jewish Care in the community and I thank you the community from the bottom of my heart for the generous support they have shown.”

Speaking after the event, Adam Overlander-Kaye, Director of Fundraising & Community Engagement, said, “We are very grateful for the support and kindness and generosity of the Essex community, today and over the past decade, that help keep our services in the North East going.”