Notes from Jewish Care's Hyman Fine House

12 Apr 2021

We really enjoyed celebrating Purim and then Pesach at Hyman Fine House, thanks to our volunteers, whom we couldn’t do without. Rabbi Lewis and his sons led a traditional speed reading of the Megillah at two different windows, so residents could listen in person in the morning. Simon Rickman, our virtual synagogue volunteer, gave a Zoom English Megillah in the afternoon.

There was sunshine, party food and a few glasses of punch over lunch and the wonderful Sussex Jewish Representatives council sent us colourful festive balloons to brighten up the home. It is so nice to know the support we have from the local community is there, to make all this possible.

I’d like to tell you more about Simon Rickman, our generous volunteer who gives so much to others and helps to keep Hyman Fine House the very special and unique community that it is.

We’ve benefited from Simon leading the Shabbat services since May 2019. So, when he suggested carrying on the services virtually at the start of the first lockdown in March last year, the residents were delighted to find a way to keep connecting, spiritually. Since then, Simon has led more than 55 virtual services as well as the virtual Megillah reading on Purim and then a beautiful virtual Seder for us on Pesach.

Simon says, “The best part of the role is connecting with the residents who are such wonderful people. Coming together for Shabbat and festivals creates a spirit of togetherness at a time when we need it most. All the people at Hyman Fine House make you feel very welcome. I’ve been impressed by how much the carers really care. You can tell how kind they are when they speak to the residents with genuine dignity and respect.”

As we reached the anniversary of the pandemic in March, we marked this time and looked back as an organisation reflecting on those we’ve lost; residents, staff and the many losses for families across the country for whom life has, sadly, changed so much. We recognised the amazing dedication of the Jewish Care staff who sacrificed so much to continue to care for our residents and the community through the pandemic.

Thankfully, it feels like we are heading into a time when we will all enjoy more freedom and time together. We’ve had our vaccines and seen families begin to be reunited physically with the designated relatives holding hand visits. These have been the special moments since the pandemic began. It’s good to begin to feel more optimistic as we start to unwind with caution, from lockdown.

With Spring in the air and renewal beginning all around us in nature, residents and staff were delighted to see new life from our new temporary residents who joined us from Living Eggs recently. It was fascinating to see chicks hatching and change so much in just a few hours. We had such fun watching their progress and getting to know the soft, fluffy chicks as they explored, bringing joy wherever they went! They have grown and gone to find their new homes now. With warmer weather and Spring blossom in the air, we celebrate seeing new life begin again.