A charity near Mansfield dedicated to helping older people enjoy later life has been keeping spirits up and helping their members stay well throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Ravenshead-based Cornwater Evergreens usually welcomes members to their Friendship Club and Memory Club several times a week, but with social distancing in force they’ve had to adapt.
Melissa Blythe, the charity’s CEO, said, “Part of our mission is to prevent social isolation in older people so bringing our services to a halt simply isn’t an option for our members. So, we quickly changed how we do things to keep some consistency in the members’ routine, provide safe social contact, and make sure they have the necessities.”
Since the beginning of April, Melissa and colleague Sarah have been delivering weekly food parcels to members, packed with fresh fruit and vegetables as well as staples such as teabags, milk, butter, tinned goods and toilet roll. Every package also includes a few treats like chocolate, toiletries and flowers. Knowing that a lot of their members enjoy feeding the birds, parcels often include seed too! And thanks to local organisation Ashfield Dementia Action Alliance, members living with dementia have been given activity packs to stimulate creativity and enhance their wellbeing.
“We deliver up to 43 parcels every week with the help of our two daughters, who are donating their time to help with packing and delivery. Of course, we adhere strictly to hygiene and social distancing guidelines when we make our deliveries, but a friendly face and quick chat is a real tonic to our members who might not see or speak to many others all week.” said Melissa.
Cornwater quickly set up regular telephone calls to their members and carers too. It’s a chance for people to chat and for Tina, a member of the Cornwater team, and more recently, Sarah, to provide much-needed reassurance and support.
It’s thanks to funding from the Nottinghamshire Community Foundation, Thomas Farr Charity, Nottinghamshire County Council and the Severn Trent Community Fund plus support from local clubs and businesses that Cornwater has been able to continue helping keep older people safe and well. And thanks to ongoing support from the community, their members will be welcomed back to Cornwater’s clubs as soon as it’s safe to be together again.
If you‘d like to know more, get in touch with Sarah by calling 01623 491159 or visit www.cornwaterevergreens.co.uk.