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  • Debbie Thrower

Hybrid 'Holiday at Home'

Leader of Southampton's Anna Chaplains, Canon Dr Erica Roberts, describes how they have have adapted in the light of Covid-19 restrictions:

'Facing the challenges of transitioning out of lockdown, with the easing of social restrictions, and yet many still feeling understandably anxious about gathering in large numbers, the Caraway team decided to develop the successful ‘Holiday in a Bag’ idea and encourage folk to take part in a summer event in small gatherings across the city.



Our amazing team of 33, assembled an incredibly creative bag full of stories, poems, quizzes, crafts and ideas. With over 220 signing up for our ‘Celebration of Summer’, our bakers were extremely busy providing scones and cakes for a delicious afternoon tea.


One group met and enjoyed a mocktail (recipe in the bag!) in the garden, before gathering in front of the TV to join in an interactive zoom, with music and dance!

Anna Chaplains, Kathy Hyde and Marion Hitchins then went a step further and invited over 20 guests to share their afternoon tea in a local church and again joined in the singing and bingo over zoom together. Not only did we have three care homes taking part but continuing the ‘Holiday in a Bag’ meant that those unable to gather with others were still able to receive a bag of goodies, an afternoon tea and a friendly chat on the doorstep. A really inclusive event, which encouraged social gathering in small numbers, without excluding those who were housebound and unable to join with others on this occasion.


This is our third Holiday in a Bag during the pandemic; the numbers of guests have grown from just over 100 to over 220, and we are excited about the opportunities this will provide to grow community and support individuals in their older years as we move forward.


We are following this with a Creative Celebration of Summer Service at the end of July. Hopefully we’ll even be able to sing!!!'


Caraway - 'spiritually resourcing the older person' - is based in Southampton, Hampshire.





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