Those of you who come to the coffee morning before the midweek service on Wednesdays will have noticed that things have changed a bit recently, particularly on the first and third Wednesday in each month. This is because we are now working with the Sheffield Carers Centre on the first Wednesday and with Sheffield MIND’s Community Bereavement Support project, known as “The Ripple Effect” on the third Wednesday. Our Carers Café, which is usually on the first Wednesday in each month, provides carers living in our neighbourhood with the opportunity to meet other carers, as well as staff and volunteers from Sheffield Carers Centre, over a cup of tea or coffee and cake, to talk about shared experiences and to get a break from caring. Carers are welcome either with or without the person they care for. Running alongside this carers group Sheffield Mencap’s Carers Outreach Project has recently provided two interactive art work sessions aimed particularly at those caring for an adult with a mild to moderate learning disability and or autism. By contrast, the Ripple Effect is a small project focused on helping people be more open about their bereavement so that they can help each other through the most difficult times. The project provides emotional and practical support for people who have been bereaved, not necessarily recently, and invests a great deal of time into each individual based on their personal needs and wants and supports them to reengage socially. If you know of anyone who you feel may benefit from this kind of support why not bring them along to our next Ripple Effect Café?
You may also have heard about our pioneering intergenerational singing project with pupils from King Ecgbert School. This project is still in the very early stages of development but we do have a singing instructor in place and she would ideally like the older persons’ element of the choir to be fifteen to twenty voices strong, including some male voices. So still a few more people needed! If you would like to be a part of this exciting new project, or if you know of anyone else who would like to be, please talk to Elaine. They don’t have to be members of this church. The first get together of older choir members and students went really well and was very enjoyable. If our project is a success it will be rolled out in other locations, so no pressure then!
We are being facilitated and supported to move forward with these exciting new projects because we are members of the People Keeping Well Partnership in Dore and Totley. People Keeping Well is Sheffield’s community-based approach to improving people’s health and wellbeing; it is funded by Sheffield City Council but is delivered by voluntary, community and faith organisations. There are currently 17 different partnerships operating in the Sheffield area. Each partnership is led by a local voluntary sector organisation which works with a wide range of people who live and work in that community. Each partnership is different depending on local needs but might include other voluntary groups, libraries, local forums, transport services, councillors, neighbourhood police officers, faith groups, food banks and GP practices. The partnerships meet regularly to consider how they can work together to support the community to live well and tackle local issues.
In Dore and Totley the People Keeping Well Partnership is led by Age UK and I am currently your representative on it. We may be an ageing congregation but with the wonderful facilities we have here at Dore and Totley URC and with the support and expertise available to us through the Dore and Totley People Keeping Well Partnership, we are very well placed to reach out to our local community. As Christians we are called to make it our priority to willingly share the concerns of our neighbours in this community, so why not pop along to our carers café or get involved with our intergenerational singing project. I understand that as part of their community outreach work, the students at King Ecgbert School will be serving our choir members with tea and refreshments after the rehearsals. “Brother, Sister let me serve you, let me be as Christ to you; pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant too.”