|Happy Christmas to you and your loved ones|
We have so much to look forward to this month. Our Christmas special afternoon tea on the 4th of December at Gateway Baptist Church. If you have never been before, come along and bring a friend or family member with you. We have a wonderful brass band coming so we can all enjoy a sing along, singing Christmas carols together. Stuart is preparing his special Christmas Quiz and we will have a scrumptious festive afternoon tea for you.
Carrying on from the food theme, which seems to run through all of befriended activities, don’t forget to book in for our Christmas Lunch on the 15th of December at Tea Thyme Cafeon the London Road, Hassocks. see the link below
If you haven’t been along to our Befriended Balance classes you can come and join us for some exercise, fun and friendship followed by scrummy tea and cake. We are there every Wednesday afternoon at Hurstpierpoint Methodist Church 1.30pm until the 14th of December.
Our Befriended Balance Classes will recommence on the 4th of January 2023
Our New Year tea party will be on the 8th January 2023 which is the 2nd Sunday of the Month. We look forward to celebrating the beginning of a new year with you.
With this newsletter we include our top tips advice, news about our winter Acts of Kindness project – Befriended Blankets, and ways in which you can enable Befriended to continue making a difference to the lives of older people living in our community.
We have great news to share with you about our intergenerational partnership with Worth School and the huge difference it is making at Befriended Balance. As well as that we have a wonderful story and such encouraging feedback to share from our recent bereavement course.
Enjoy your read and if you have a story to tell us we would love to hear from you.
From all of the trustees, staff and team at Befriended we want to wish you a very happy, peaceful and blessed Christmas time
with our love
Will, Diane, George, Deborah, Dave, Nick, Stuart, Gail and Lucy
Act of Kindness – Befriended BlanketsThis winter, Befriended’s response to the cost of living crisis is to offer some practical help and support. Our Act of Kindness is to provide warm thermal snuggly blankets together with energy saving tips and advice. Our blankets will be given out throughout the winter months helping many to keep warm and cosy this winter. If you would like one or if you know of someone who will benefit from one of our blankets please do let us know on 0300 7727703 or email email@example.com and we will get one delivered.
A group of pupils from Worth School have been helping at our Befriended Balance exercise classes as part of a newly-formed partnership between Worth School and Befriended. The pupils – four boys Mateau, Patrick, Alex and Fernando volunteer to support, encourage and build relationships with our clients then spend time chatting with then over a cup of tea.
Worth School is also supporting our Acts of Kindness initiatives – ‘Befriended Blankets’. The school is hoping to raise funds for Befriended to give away blankets this winter.
If you would like to support us financially with this project you can give via this link.
Keeping warm this winter Befriended’s tips and advice for you Home Use a Microwave instead of an oven
If using an oven, leave the door open after to warm your room
Only boil the amount of water you need in your kettle, put unused water into a thermos
Turn your heating thermostat down one degree
Wash your clothes at a lower temperature
Change your light bulbs to LED light bulbs
Turn off appliances rather than leave on standby mode
Take a shower rather than a bath
Draft proof your home
Draw your curtains not blocking the heat from radiators
Heat only the rooms you use, keep all doors closed
Wear layers, wearing cotton next to your skin
Wear warm pair of socks and a hat
Wrap yourself up in a befriended blanket
Hug a hot water bottle
Drink plenty of warm drinks
Eat a warm meal every day, even if it is a plate of soup
West Sussex Household Support Fund – If you have a household income of less than £30,000 and you are pensionable age you may be entitled to a grant of £700. Befriended can refer you to Age UK for benefit calculator check to see if there are benefits you may qualify.
Please do get in touch with us if we can help you or refer you to someone who can Warm spaces initiative – Look out for local places offering warm spaces during the week
The Bereavement Journey Course
During the month of October and some of November a dozen or so of us met each week at St Edwards Church in Burgess Hill to support and encourage one another as we completed the bereavement journey course. One attendee said “We started as strangers and left as friends” another said “I expected it to be all doom and gloom but there was a lot of smiles and laughter”. The course is 5 weeks and I think some of the feedback speaks for itself.
How have you benefited from the course:
Through the videos and group discussions, I have gained an understanding of the processes of grief and how it effects us all differently.
I feel able to express how I feel honestly and not have to hide from the truth
Learning to look at all the various losses we have had, that impact our lives
To realise you are not alone
It has equipped me and given me tools to move forward
To be kinder to myself, to give myself permission and time to cry, reflect and remember, to know that I will Iive with the grief for the rest of my life and that it will become a part of me.
To learn what to say and what not to say
Its ok not to be ok, our experience can benefit and help others
That your grief is your grief and it is not a competition
Grief does not disappear but life grows around it
God is not the baddie, and that God does not deliberately do things bad to us
What did you appreciate most
The honesty and openness of the participants sharing about their loss
The group time was very special, the leader was a great listener. The confidentiality, sharing and support
Being with others on the journey. The stucture of the videos and group time was not to overwhelming, the venue was special
Group time was the best
Our next course will take place in February 2023. If you or someone you know would benefit from attending please do let them know or contact us for more details.
One very special lady – Maggie, attended the course and with her permission a beautiful story emerged. During the course Maggie shared that her way of coping with the loss of her dear husband was to keep busy and not spend time at home. With some encouragement after week 3 of the course she spent an afternoon at home and discovered a bag full of treasure at the back of a cupboard- letters, memorabilia and photos of her parents. Very excitedly, the next week Maggie shared with us what she had found. Below is the story Maggie discovered about her Parents. Burrell and Maud
Burrel Faux married his sweetheart Maud in July 1932 aged 23 and 22.
Burrell was a cabinet maker before he was drafted into the royal artillery the gunners. He was taken over seas in 1941 and in July 1942 he was reported missing. It was discovered that Burrell was initially in a Italian transit camp and then moved via cattle truck which took five weeks to a permanent prisoner of war camp in Italy.
While in this camp the Popes representative visited the camps to log who was there to send information back to the relatives. Maud received information from the Popes office October 10th, 1942. that Burrell was alive and in a permanent camp .
Maud had lived for over a year not knowing if he was alive or dead Burrell wrote this letter to Maud on the 23rd of August 1943.
My own darling Maud,I was very pleased to read in your letter that you were going away for your holiday, I do hope you had nice weather and enjoyed yourselves, you have been working so hard since I have been away so you deserved a holiday to get away for a while and have a good rest. When I get home again darling which I hope will be soon, we will have the best holiday we have ever had but until then I want you to enjoy yourself when you get the chance so that you are in the pink when I get home. Remember dear I have great faith in you and am certain you would not do anything I would not approve of as we mean far to much to each other for that. I hope you did receive the photo I sent you , I am afraid it is not a very good one of me but it is the best I can do for you from here as we only get few photos taken. Remember me to all and tell them I hope to be seeing them soon and in the meantime dear get yourself fit for our second honeymoon which wont be long now I hope. All my love and kisses, yours alone forever, your ever loving and faithful husband Burrell Maude kept a note in her diary of when she wrote to him and she wrote to him more than once a week and numbered every letter. In January 1944 he was moved again by cattle truck to camp Stalag in Germany and kept in a prisoner of war camp until 1945.
On the 21st of April 1945 Maude received a telegram to say he had arrived safely back the UK and that he would see her soon Burrell was one of the fortunate ones to return home to his beloved wife in 1946.He was not a well man but he did live another 20 years before he died at the age of 60. We remember those who did not return, but we also remember the loss, trauma, heartache that thousands of people experienced and still are experiencing because of the consequences of war.
Thank you Maggie for sharing your parents story.
Dates for your diary
December Afternoon tea – Sunday 4th December at Gateway Baptist Church 3pm
Befriended Christmas Lunch – Thursday 16th December at Tea Thyme Cafe 1pm
January Afternoon Tea – Sunday 8th January at Gateway Baptist Church 3pm
Finance: We are so grateful to so many of you who donated at our 5th Anniversary, thank you for your generosity it does make such a difference.
Please consider supporting us monthly. You can give using this link
May the Joy and Peace of Christmas be with you now and throughout the coming yearThank you so much for being a part of Befriended and to all our volunteers for all they do in making a difference to the lives of others.
Thank you for all your encouragement, friendship, prayers and your financial support. Without you we could not do what we do!
God bless and much love to you and those you love
Gail and all the team at Befriended. xx
God was definitely at work when we had an unexpected request to speak all about our Befriended Blankets on the radio on Sunday morning! Have a listen here…
We’re in the customer vote for a Tesco Community Grant. It’s a scheme which gives community projects like us grants of up to £1,500. Tesco customers will now vote in Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath stores during October and November to decide how much funding we get, so please support us next time you shop at Tesco!
Befriended balance is a fun, engaging exercise class suitable for everyone. We regularly host a class in Hurstpierpoint and we look forward to expanding across Mid Sussex soon.
To vote, you will need to make a purchase within store of any value. You will receive one token per transaction and it’s not necessary to purchase a carrier bag in order to receive a token. Click here to read more about the wonderful scheme!
On 8th of September we all heard the very sad news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Our Sovereign Queen and Defender of the Faith had died after a lifetime of service to God and her Country. We give thanks to God for her life and continue to pray for her family.
We are very aware that many of you will have very fond and numerous memories of the Queen throughout her long reign. We hope and trust that you will treasure them for many months and years to come. Our country as well as us as individuals have been in mourning along with her family and we all witnessed an awesome fitting funeral for a unique and incredible woman on Monday 19th of September.
“Grief is the price we pay for love.”
Since the death of the Queen, there has been an outpouring of communal grief that may resonate for some, more than others. The feelings you might be experiencing may feel invalid or strange if you had never met the Queen, however, it is totally normal to have an emotional response when something of this magnitude happens. The Queen was part of Britain’s everyday life and many people will have only ever experienced the Queen as their sovereign, some will feel as though they have lost a family member with her death. This may also be a trigger for some who are reminded of what it was like to lose so many people in recent years. The death of anyone can bring up old, or recent, hurts and emotions from your own experience of death and grief, and it is ok to allow this news to open up those feelings and conversations.
We have seen and still have a huge amount of news coverage and this can be overwhelming. It is good to give yourself a break from the television or radio and take a break from social media. Allow yourself to grieve and experience all the emotions that come with that. Talk to a trusted friend or adult or seek professional support via Befriended and know that it’s safe to share your grief.
On the 10th November, Befriended commissioned four Anna Chaplains at our wonderful event which we will tell you all about later in the newsletter.
Theodora, Clare, Will and Gail were licensed as chaplains and the service was led by Bishop Ruth Bushyager. This is a very exciting and significant time in the journey of Befriended. The Befriended Chaplaincy team will be visiting care homes, taking services, offering communion and prayer for individuals.
Here are the biographies of our four Chaplains:
I am married with four children. My eldest daughter Susie was diagnosed at twelve as having an incurable neurological disease. I went in search of God and met Jesus in the early 1980s. It was then that my life really began, and my husband and my mother then became Christians as did my children.
My son had cancer when he was 18 but praise God was healed, however, Susie my daughter had stopped talking at the age of 14 and became bedridden and at age 29 she died in my arms. We took a sabbatical year and went to Bible College in Yorkshire before coming back down south where I then returned to my nursing career and ran several care homes and set up dementia units. I was accepted as a magistrate sitting on the bench in Brighton and am still a supplementary Justice of the Peace.
When I retired I completed a chaplaincy course and became part of the chaplaincy team for Princess Royal and Kleinwort Hospitals in Haywards Heath which led to me becoming the leader of the team.
I have known Gail and supported her in her ministry at Torch for many years, and more recently have become closely involved in her work in Befriended. When she shared about the chaplaincy work they are beginning with Anna Chaplaincy, it was definitely something I felt the Holy Spirit’s prompting to get involved with. I am very excited at being part of the Anna Chaplaincy team with Befriended and so pleased to be commissioned with them.
I relocated to Burgess Hill at the beginning of 2021 with my husband Steve, for him to become pastor of Gateway Baptist Church and I had been wondering about how best to use my time in Christian service.
I heard about Anna Chaplaincy in the summer when I met Gail who works for Befriended, a charity working with the lonely and elderly. Gail mentioned that she wanted to start a new aspect of the work and form a team of Anna Chaplains. I have been involved in town centre chaplaincy in Watford and was inspired by what Gail had planned and felt excited about becoming involved in chaplaincy work again.
I have a heart for the elderly, and I have also been involved in running services in care homes with our previous church and coming alongside residents. I really feel called to this work as there is such a need to show, love, care and compassion to those who are lonely and vulnerable, and who need to know the love of Jesus. I want to make a difference in their lives just by being available and being a friendly face to hear their stories and life experiences and to show the love of Jesus to this very special generation from whom we can learn so much.
Revd Will Fletcher
I have been a Methodist minister for just over seven years, and during that time I have developed a passion for ministering amongst older people. Most of my congregations have been predominantly older and I’ve loved the opportunities I have had to share with them on their journeys.
In both my previous appointment (in Sheffield), and my current one, I have had opportunities of going into care homes and sheltered accommodation to minister amongst older people in pastoral visits and in leading acts of worship. They have so often been the times when I have felt most uplifted and assured of my calling to ordained ministry. Whilst in Sheffield I had the chance to take part in a short course at Cliff College called ‘Ministry Amongst Older People’. This had quite a lot of input from the Anna Chaplaincy team. It was the first time I had come across Anna Chaplaincy and, whilst being really interested, I wasn’t in a position to be involved. As we pray that we are coming through the pandemic, opportunities are beginning to open once more to minister amongst older people in various settings. Just as I had begun praying what this might look like I received contact from Gail about Befriended, and teaming up with them and Anna Chaplaincy just felt right. My wife, Helen, is also passionate about ministry amongst older people and teaches different sessions of dance and movement for older people. Whilst we are not often in the same sessions together, it is so good to know that we share in this same ministry.
Having worked in Christian ministry for over 25 years, predominately with older people, I am excited and invigorated by the way that God weaves his will and plans through our lives.
My husband and I were invited to the launch of Anna Chaplaincy – at St Saviour’s Church, Knightsbridge, several years ago which was when I first met Debbie Thrower.
That evening I was captivated by the vision of Anna Chaplaincy and soon made contact with Debbie who invited me to shadow her in her work for a few days in Alton. Sadly I was not in a position at that time to take up the role of an Anna Chaplain . In 2016 our paths crossed again when I was in a new role with the Salvation Army and we met at various events/conferences, but again I was still not in a position to take up the role of an Anna Chaplain.
In 2021, I was made redundant from the Salvation Army and one of the first conversations I had was with Debbie. I knew that now was the right time to fulfil that calling/commitment that had begun well over ten years ago to become an Anna Chaplain for Older People. This coincided with my new role as CEO of Befriended. All the services offered to our older people through Befriended addressed emotional, physical and mental wellbeing, so recognising and providing spiritual care was also essential.
The perfect synergy was to bring Anna Chaplains to form a Chaplaincy team working with other church leaders as part of Befriended’s work and ministry. I am thrilled to be part of a team of Anna Chaplains and together we pray that God will use us to bless the lives of many older people living in Mid Sussex.
If you would like one of our chaplains or the team to come to you please do get in touch with us and we will be delighted to visit you.
It’s cold, it’s dark, you may be on your own – well we invite you to come and join us, grab a cup of tea, snuggle up warm and have a little read of what’s going on in the life of Befriended.
It’s that time of year when Strictly is getting more exciting, the Christmas adverts are competing against one another and everyone seems to be so busy, tired and stressed.
Covid has definitely not gone away, we may not be in lockdown in the UK but all our lives are still affected by it in one way or another. Let me take you back to this time last year…we were all in lockdown. Everyone experienced what it was to be isolated and more people experienced what it was to be lonely. Families were separated, and Christmas was so different for all of us. So what have we learned?
We need one another, friendships, connection, companionship, and community but not just at Christmas time, we need it all the year through.
In this newsletter we will share with you all about the new and exciting events that have happened recently and share with you our hopes and dreams for 2022.
Thank you for being part of Befriended, we can only do what we do with you and for you so that ……
Together we can make a difference to the lives of others, one smile at a time.
With the start of a brand new term, we have a brand new monthly event that we are delighted to invite you to and we would love if you could spread the word!
On the first Sunday of every month Gateway Baptist Church will be hosting us for an Afternoon Tea with Befriended. We would love you to join us for an afternoon of wonderful food, entertainment, quizzes, music and an opportunity to meet old friends and hopefully make some new friends!
If transport is an issue, please get in touch with the office and we will try to find a volunteer to give you a lift. You can give us a call on 0300 772 7703 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a noticeboard, a newsletter or a neighbour that you would like to share this with, we have flyers, posters and digital invitations that we can send you, please get in touch!
Over the last year, many things have changed in Befriended, in every area, we have new team, new trustees, new services and many many new clients and volunteers.
We have just sent out a newsletter to everyone on our mailing list (if you are on our mailing list and didn’t get it, check your junk and then add email@example.com to your ‘Safe list’), if you’re not on our mailing list and would like to be, please contact us and we will make sure that you receive all our future newsletters and updates. Either way, if you haven’t already read our update, you can do so by clicking on the button below.
As national restrictions are lifting, the trustees have been in discussions and have agreed a simple but safe way forward.
If you would like to go back to either visiting your befriendee or you would like to see your befriender please get in contact with us as we would love to enable this to happen both safely and sensitively. One of the team will call or visit to make sure both parties are happy.
- 1 in 3 older people are affected by loneliness;
- 1 in 10 of the entire older population say they often feel lonely;
- Half of all older people in the UK consider TV to be their main form of company;
- Over half a million older people leave their house once a week or less;
- Nearly half of all people aged 75 and over live alone;
- A saddening 450,000 older people in the UK spent last Christmas alone;
- 60 older people a week die alone;
- As the UK population is living longer, the number of people aged 80 years and older is projected to almost double by 2030;
- The overall increase of older people reporting loneliness by 2030 will be around 40%?
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
- Being lonely has a significant and lasting effect on blood pressure; lonely individuals have higher blood pressure than their less lonely peers;
- Loneliness is as big a risk to health as smoking and obesity;
- Loneliness is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease;
- 1 in 10 older people visit their GP because they are lonely.
WHY ARE WE LONELY?
- Being older is a crucial predictor of loneliness and that by 2030 demographic change alone is projected to drive up the number of lonely older people in the UK by 40%;
- There is a strong link between having low levels of income and being lonely – older people in poverty suffer lower frequency of social contacts;
- 16% of us say we would like to offer to do something to help an older person, but are too afraid to do so;
- 15% of us say we would like to do something kind for an older person, but can’t find the time.