Small – but select – tea parties resume in Surrey
Penny Naylor, Anna Chaplaincy network member in Surrey at Busbridge and Hambledon, reflects on a busy autumn as her older person's ministry team embarked on a tea party initiative. It saw them running as many as nine tea parties in ten days for their ‘prime time’ members.
‘Although it was a very labour-intensive initiative, it absolutely proved to be the right approach as a means of restarting face-to-face events for our older friends. Numbers to each party were strictly limited so that the gathered group was of a small size and when the weather allowed, the tea parties were held outside. Both factors helped make our guests feel comfortable and reassured that they wouldn’t be overwhelmed by numbers and being at a high risk of catching Covid. As a result uptake was really high.’
As winter draws near the afternoon tea sessions are all but over, she reports. ‘However, we have some cherished memories of some very special afternoons spent together. Getting together in this way enabled the team to have some very useful conversations about where people are at individually as we emerge from the pandemic. Also through these chats, we’ve also been able to identify some priorities as to what the prime timers feel is important for us to be offering, identifying perhaps where some gaps in our provision are and generally thinking about the future.’