‘Anna’s Place’ in Billericay – the benefits!
We have an exciting update on Anna Chaplaincy and the new ‘Anna’s Place’ from Revd Margaret Fowler at Christ Church, Billericay in Essex:
‘We are making good progress with Anna Chaplaincy and now have one person who has undergone the training and three others who are presently doing the training. Once we have all done the training, we want to start visiting people one-to-one in their homes. We are still reviewing regularly what we do, and discussing how we might better support our guests.
‘We have had a visit from a Christian lady from the Alzheimer’s Society who was very pleased with what she found and is coming along with one of her clients to see how we might make small changes in the church and halls which would be even more welcoming for those with dementia.
‘Some of our regular “Anna’s Place” guests attended our Church Coronation Barbecue celebration at which we all had a great time! One guest looked so smart when he arrived, we hardly recognised him! He has changed so much in the few months we have known him.
‘One lady who has a wheelchair-bound husband took me aside last week and said what a difference coming to “Anna’s Place” had made to him. He looks forward to coming every week and loves playing “trionimoes” (three-sided dominoes) with another guest. His wife said he is back to his old self again after a long time of depression about his health.’
‘Two guests bring their dogs along as well and are surprised that we don’t mind having them.’
‘A Christian artist friend of the church and his wife come in half term holidays to teach our guests how to draw, and they’ve promised to come in the summer break when they won’t be teaching. We are planning to invite our flower ladies to come and show our guests how to do small flower arrangements which they can take home afterwards.
‘We have lunch together of homemade soup and bread followed by yummy cakes and coffee. We did suggest changing to ploughman’s as the weather gets warmer, but it only got one vote! We always finish by singing choruses and sometimes “Happy Birthday” to someone.
‘Everyone is getting to know one another so the volume of conversation has gone up – and there is lots of laughter. The biggest shout went up last week when a very difficult Coronation puzzle was finally completed! Everyone had been trying to be the one to put in the last piece! We are planning to have a “Holiday at home” at least once during the summer with fish and chips and ice cream for lunch (but no seagulls!).
‘So we are doing really well and still have lots of lovely volunteers who turn up each week to help, and who are always ready to pray or talk about faith with our guests.’