The story of Valentinus is not a nice one, but one we carry with us. The story talks of love and loss of a young Christian man who taught a beautiful blind girl the way of Christ. He then prayed with the girl and soon god bestowed upon her the gift of sight. Valentinus was then sent to death but signed his last love letter “from your Valentine.” This story teaches us that we should live every day as though it’s our last and never forget those who love us.
For some Valentine’s Day is a hard time, they remember the love they once shared with that one special person.
However this day is a celebration of your love that has been and always will be. Some people going through bereavement may have a relapse during this period, especially if it was a special time for them and their partner. But, the key is to remember that there are a lot of people in your life that love you that are still around.
One story showed a man who looked after his mother and father. His father had dementia and couldn’t remember how special the day used to be, so the son would buy a card for his father to give to his mother. The son would then also order flowers to be delivered to the mother’s room as the father had done in previous years. Although from the outside this may look tedious to the family it was a ritual, the love of the parents was strong even when they couldn’t show it.
Valentine’s Day is about love of all types, not just for your partner, this includes friends, family and maybe even your love for your God. If you do feel alone on Valentine’s Day there is a lot you can do, you can do something with your friends, have a family meal or even do something that makes you happy, go to the spa or make lots of cakes and biscuits.
When someone’s partner is either no longer with us or has dementia the best thing to do to help is let them know they have their family. Let them know they are loved and have a network of support to help them.
As an 18 year old, thoughts of what I’m going to do when I’m 80 are few and far between. However, working for ViH and Alice Cross has made me think about what’s going to be around to help. Many people have said that they hope that charities like Volunteering in Health, The Alice Cross and Assist Teignbridge will still be around to help when they get older, and I hope so too. When I first started at The Alice I was a bit apprehensive as to what to expect, but everyone welcomed me with open arms. As I’ve lived in Teignmouth all my life I’ve always known about the Alice but never really understood what they did there. I was under the impression it was for “old” people. After working there for 3 months I can safely say that this is not true, everyone there is just so lively and full of energy.
While you watch the ballroom dancers float across the room or the eastern dancers wave their scarves you forget about age.
As the population ages, the demand for this sort of charity grows. But we have no idea how long we will be around for. This is why we need people to help volunteer while they can, to help other, and so that if you become unable to volunteer for any reason there will be someone to help you from the start. You never know when you or a loved one will need our services. When you volunteer you help shape the charity and put things in place that will help you and others as and when you might need them. By giving the gift of a legacy you can give financial stability for us to be able to provide care for many years to come.
Quite often, in this era, technology is our answer for everything, can’t go out shopping? Go online. Want to meet someone new? Go online. As the days go by, more and more tech is being made that can be incorporated in to our day to day activities, but sometimes facetiming my boyfriend just isn’t the same as seeing him. Nothing can beat a good old fashioned hug.
So my question to you is: will technology ever really solve the problem of loneliness? Will seeing a picture of your friends and family be enough?
Recently we’ve had a massive push on fundraising. In October we had 3 different events raising a total of £800! One of these events was the Bronx music night; on 23rd October we invited local musicians to perform their work to us, this raised a staggering £350!
We then had a fancy dress bag pack, considering how scary we looked people still donated to the cause and this raised £300! We were then part of the rotary raffle which raised an extra £150. We left October and flew straight into November with another bag packing which raised another £300. Then through November and December we sold our Christmas cards and chocolates. This added an extra £1000 to the collection. One care home then had a coffee morning to raise funds for us; they raised £65 for us. Shaldon School and Singalong Shaldon raised another £600 for us through their Christmas Carol concerts and a “Name the Teddy” competition at the school.
We finished off the year with one last bag pack which raised an amazing £625 for us! All these fundraisers allow us to support people in our community with getting to and from their hospital appointments and social events. We also help combat isolation with befrienders. In total we left 2016 with over £2,000 being raised in just the last 3 months.
Thank you to everyone who has helped with fundraising – whether you helped with bag packing or popped a penny or a pound in a pot – it all helps.
If you would be interested in setting up a fundraiser please pop in to the office or email the Manager, Chloe, on firstname.lastname@example.org
Gill retired from her role as a Community Nurse in 2014, but found that she missed supporting people in the community. Not long after retiring, she joined VIH as a volunteer, but within weeks we had snapped her up to be our Memory Loss Support Worker.
I have worked for VIH since March 2015 as Memory Support Worker. In my role I provide support, information and signposting to clients living with a memory problem, and their carers. I help them remain well and involved in the community for as long as possible, which then reduces the feeling of loneliness and isolation that a memory problem can bring.
In 2016 I became the co-ordinator for the Teignmouth and Dawlish Memory cafes. These are run monthly and are social, relaxed sessions where clients and their carers can get together for a cup of tea or coffee and join in any activity that we have planned.
Recently I helped to launch ‘Music 4 Memories’, which involves group singing, playing of instruments and quizzes.
It’s good to see people out, joining in and having fun.
Volunteering in Health would like to wish all of our clients, carers, volunteers, and colleagues a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Over the festive period we will be closing for the bank holidays but open as normal the rest of the time, as follows:
Friday 23rd December 10am-3pm
Monday 26th December CLOSED
Tuesday 27th December CLOSED
Wednesday 28th December 10am-3pm
Thursday 29th December 10am-3pm
Friday 30th December 10am-3pm
Monday 2nd January CLOSED
Tuesday 3rd January 10am-3pm
Welcome to our brand spanking new blog!
Our new Office Apprentice, Faith, will be posting here regularly to keep you up-to-date with what’s going on at Volunteering in Health. There will be interviews with our staff, trustees, volunteers and clients, as well as loads of information about our services and various things that are going on.
If you have got any ideas for things you’d like to see here, or if you’d like to write something for the blog, please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!