The Bring Me Sunshine Project is Co-ordinated by Lesley Allen with a team of volunteers from neighbouring churches, Holy Cross, St Andrews, St Laurence’s, Brownhill Baptist and the Salvation army as well as community volunteers and supporters.
Due to Covid 19 this year’s scheme had to be adapted and instead of events we have responded by sending out Bring Me sunshine Magazines and church newsletters to over 200 older residents each week. 100 are delivered by hand in activity bags with a small treat or craft or activity to keep people occupied and the other 100 are posted to those living a little further away. The magazines contain poems, puzzles, prayer, a letter from the Coordinator with info and guidelines and anecdotes, stories and tips on wellbeing from the recipients themselves. People are encouraged despite being apart to maybe stop during the day and do something together such as have a cup of tea, sing a song, think of each other.
The generosity of several companies such as Lucy Bee soap, Mcvities, Bella Magazine, Twinning Tea, Catford Brew Tea, as well as local supporters has ensured that we have Something to offer everyone each week. The volunteer team for deliveries have come from the churches as well as neighbourhood volunteers who collect the bags every Saturday and deliver them with a smile and a quick chat on the doorstep which in itself has been invaluable for many and one of the only contacts they may receive during their week.
Any concerns are fed back and the coordinator has referred many to mutual volunteer aid and agencies of support locally. As well as the deliveries, over 60 older people are phoned each week to check on wellbeing and a small group of telephone befrienders from Voluntary services Lewisham has assisted in this.
Each church provides information either regularly or ad hoc to update on practices, changes and offers ideas and reflections which support people spiritually. There is an acknowledgement that there is a great deal of information via technology during Covid 19 and many opportunities to access activities but for over 70 % of our older people they do not have access to the digital platforms and the world and its rich sources and unable to be accessed. For us the challenge has been to bring activities in person to people’s home and keep them connected.
Feedback from Members Summer 2020
Thank you for all the support you have given me during this lockdown period. I really enjoyed the drinks and confectionery items. The newsletters were so good to read, along with the various puzzles. Though we have been inside so long it is nice to know that we are thought of and not alone.
Thank you for your regular Bring Me Sunshine bulletins which my mum receives from you, and the wonderful way the team are making a difference to those currently in lockdown.
Thank you and all the volunteers for all your care and the Saturday morning delivery of gifts and newsletters and of course Bring Me Sunshine. I look forward to it every week.
Thanks for the many Sunshine letters I have received from you during this lockdown. I find them most encouraging. The interesting lives of our sunshine friends and their wonderful sense of humour along with the prayers, most comforting
I am very grateful to you for keeping us all together in this very sad time as one family
As a very grateful recipient of your teams’ kindness I want to say thank you for the Saturday visits and parcels. I do enjoy reading Bring Me Sunshine.
Lewisham Churches Care Collaboration January 2021
Bring Me Sunshine and Ageing well Lewisham are collaborating under the new umbrella organisation Lewisham churches cares and the website is below. The project looks forward to some joint working for the benefit of our community elders.