See how Befriended has been at work…

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 and we will get one delivered. 
Befriended Balance
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 
Help Yourself            
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  
Help Available           
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
Thank you!
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