Our team has continued to grow this year. We now have a team of 23 amazing volunteers who attend 11 different churches. They visit rest homes, care homes, and nursing homes across our city, from Peacehaven in the east to Shoreham in the west. In most homes we lead a short informal service with traditional hymns, prayers, Bible readings, and a short talk, but this varies from home to home. We ensure that each person in the room is talked to before and after the service and often people appreciate the offer of prayer. Developing relationships with the people we visit is a vital part of our ministry. We aim to develop the befriending element of our ministry further by taking on a chaplaincy role. We would love to be able to contribute in a very real way to all those living and working in the homes, including the lives of the family members of the residents.
The passion of our team is to reduce isolation and loneliness in rest homes across our city. Our team will continue to increase the numbers of rest homes they visit, and aim to develop the befriending service, offering one-to-one pastoral visits to more homes, as requested. In building connections with the homes, our team will become trusted people whom they can call when a resident needs our support.
Our team is very excited to be increasing its staff hours. In January, funding was secured for an additional paid, part-time, member of staff. The main focus of the role will be to develop the befriending service, alongside assisting with services.
Churches will continue to be served by our team. The Bereavement Care Awareness course from Care for the Family will be made available to congregations who want to be trained in helping care for those who are bereaved. Churches who have a heart to visit their local rest homes will continue to be trained and supported. Our team also plan to organise a forum for Christians with a heart for older people to share best practice and to encourage one another.
During the pandemic, the work that our team have done in homes has had to change. Our team are no longer able to visit homes to minister to the residents. Our team have tailored their work to a video service, creating dementia friendly services for homes, and for those who are struggling at this time. You can find these services on the city mission YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpyVM52cZaFqFT7lJrbKntVDicF1lAfZP
We have a dedicated area on our website to the resources that we are currently using in rest homes, care homes, and nursing homes across the city. There are also links to other useful sites. Click here to see what is available.
If you have connections with a rest home, care home, or nursing home, and you feel that we could be of service either by bringing a short Christian service to the lounge or by pastoral visits please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01273 609484.
We are also now on Facebook, check us out by clicking here – https://www.facebook.com/RestHomesTeam