Is tea a beverage or is it the face of human kindness?

Michele de Casanove has taken over running ‘Holiday At Home’ at Millmead, Guildford Baptist Church. She talks about the benefit of the event to the older members of our community.

Via Holiday At Home, both through the main annual summer event and via smaller monthly events, my aim is to cater to the needs of the older members of our church and community in terms of social interaction.

I am also part of the Pastoral Care Team and it is through that and through my professional work as a Specialist Fitness Instructor for the over 50s that I have identified a huge need to address the loneliness and social isolation in our community. Older people are especially vulnerable and this can have a detrimental impact on both their physical and mental well being.

According to Age UK, more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone, and more than a million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member! It’s shockingly easy to feel alone and vulnerable but meaningful engagement with the world around you in later life, such as through social and/or creative activities, can contribute in excess of 20 per cent to a person’s well being.

And being physically inactive can soon lead to deconditioning and physical weakness which in turn can affect confidence. Sarah Mendonca, Occupational Therapist, says “We need to do more work in prevention and preparation for older age and frailty. A lot of people who have never exercised are very surprised when they get older and their mobility is poor. For most of our service users, it is the loss of function and mobility that leads to loneliness and isolation.”

Like many churches this summer, Millmead, Guildford Baptist Church, will be offering the chance to come to Holiday At Home, July 19th-21st, this year with a 1950s theme. Open to the over 50s in church and also in the wider community its aim being to tackle social isolation through friendship and fun!

There will be various activities to enjoy including crafts and quizzes, pampering, gentle movement and singing, reminiscence, guest speakers on different topics, delicious hot lunches and ending each day with scrumptious tea and cake.

These annual programmes take place all over the country and aim to tackle social isolation through creative challenges and by placing older people at the heart of the activity, providing opportunities in a supportive and sociable way, encouraging older folks to be part of their local community.

Church Office: 01483 575008