Jewish Care over the festive break21 Dec 2020
Whilst some of us take some time off over the coming week, Jewish Care services stay open for the whole community. Care staff across Jewish Care homes will be working to support and care for residents as they do all year round. Public transport will be closed on Christmas Day so care staff who would normally travel to work by taxi and with the help of volunteers on Christmas Day, will be driven to work safely by Jewish Care volunteers and members of staff this year instead.
Volunteers will also continue to deliver Meals on Wheels to older, vulnerable people at home in the community over the break. Since the pandemic began, Jewish Care chefs have made over 36,000 Meals on Wheels which have been delivered by volunteers with the help of the 600 new volunteers who joined the team of 3,000 volunteers.
Telephone befriender volunteers, who have made over 35,000 calls since the first lockdown, will continue talking to older people at home on the phone and virtually to help them to stay connected. Jewish Care’s Helpline, which has received over 20,000 enquiries over the last 12 months, will also stay open to give help and advice to the community who rely on the support.
JC Presents… virtual events and Supportive Communities social groups set up to move the charity’s community services online at the start of the pandemic, will continue to provide stimulating opportunities for older people in the community so they can connect and socialise with one another online over the holiday season, helping to relieve isolation. The Chatty Café will meet on 28 December, which can be a particularly lonely time of year for many older people in the community at home. The Knit, Stitch and Natter group, attended by older members of the community and Jewish Care volunteers, will also be meeting and chatting on Zoom, whilst they knit twiddle muffs which help to provide sensory stimulation for residents at Jewish Care homes who are living with advanced dementia.
Ann Crook, one member of the Knit, Stitch and Natter group, said, “I really enjoy the group, it’s great to meet new people, to learn new things and do something useful for people who might need it in the care homes.”
Another member of the group, Jeanette says, “I lost my husband three months ago. Knitting and the group takes my mind off it and I find it very therapeutic. It helps me that I have something to look forward to.”
Jewish Care’s Chief Executive, Daniel Carmel-Brown, says, “Jewish Care’s Chief Executive, Daniel Carmel-Brown, says, “The work in our care homes doesn’t stop over the holiday season. It has been the most challenging year and we owe a debt of gratitude to care staff in our homes for their hard work and dedication, and for continuing to work to protect and support our residents whilst putting themselves at risk this year during the pandemic. They continue to show their selflessness, as they work over the Bank Holidays.
“We are also here for older vulnerable people at home in the community who need us every day, whether that be delivering hot Meals on Wheels or connecting through our befriending service and virtual events programme. Our Helpline and Social Work & Community Support Team are also on the phone or online, for those who need support or advice.
“I’d also like to thank the Jewish Care volunteers and members of staff who will be driving care staff to their shifts on Christmas Day and all our volunteers who make it possible for us to support the community at this challenging time of year.”