Five weeks later and I’ve found some time to blog again. I’m having to pay more attention to where I put my efforts – people are getting to know that there’s another helpful chap around. I am, sooner or later, going to have to get used to disappointing people and saying no, but not quite yet…
- We “processed” 24 babies at the baby clinic. To be clear, I don’t do any of the actual weighing, measuring or advice-giving, I just say hello to the parents, make them tea and encourage them to stick around to talk to each other. 3 families had arrived before the nurses got here – word is spreading that if you want to get in and out quickly, you need to be early. Nonetheless, people really appreciate a no pressure cup of tea with an environment in which they can chat but also feed comfortably and do a change if needed.
- After that I did my first Lunch Club where I was down as a helper but couldn’t do much until after 12.30. I did lend a hand serving and clearing and washing up, oh and eating, obvs. Lunch Club is our monthly meal for older people, mainly for members of the congregation but we don’t enforce that too strongly!
- I’ve also had my introduction to the plans for “Holiday at Home” which is a whole day, in August, of activities for our older friends – there’s also talk of a Church Outing in the air…
- We had a visit from a Church member and her family to take infra-red pictures of the church to see whether there were obvious places where insulation is missing or not working. My favourite images are of the underfloor heating snaking around in the sanctuary.
- I introduced some collaging to Sunflower Café on Wednesday, although I had to play hunt the pritt-stick first. We keep trying different things to stimulate people’s minds in different ways. Just picking up scissors and cutting a complex shape can be a stretch, in a good way.
- Meanwhile nextdoor we had 180 or so people for Bach to Baby – this month was a piano and flute recital. It’s a relaxed event, so no need to worry about a little one who gets noisy or needs to move around.
- I had a good chat with Liz Slade from the UK Unitarians. We’ve met before through Dougald but since then we’ve both started working in churches, although she’s facing national issues in contrast to the hyperlocal that I experience. It was good though to talk about how you go deeper than the small talk that can often fill church activities and make rich connections between people.
- No bowls club as it was half-term, but the tea-dance went ahead. I’m still working on how best to engage and involve the students from the university’s Ballroom Dancing Society and bring a bit of intergenerational zing to the proceedings.
- Speaking of which I went down to the Intergenerational Music Making “hub” at the Electric Theatre on Friday to see how they were getting on. They’ve started writing a song together and I joined in with getting a melody together. I’m hoping that we can support them more, there’s a bit of crossover with our dementia-friendly work but there should be other ways we can collaborate too.