How can we support local Care Homes and Carers?

Evalyn Lee lives locally, is on the Battersea Coronavirus Angels team, attends St Mary’s Battersea Church (one of our co-founders), and is part of the volunteer team who regularly visit the older residents in Meadbank. She recently wrote this piece for St Mary’s Battersea parish newsletter (12th July). We wanted to reproduce parts of it here (with kind permission).

[Note: The photo above includes one of our former Trustees, Alison W., who visited Meadbank for many years]: 

“For the past twenty years, St Mary’s has had a team of lay people conducting services and holding a monthly coffee morning at our local nursing home, Meadbank in Parkgate Road. Every other Monday finds us giving communion, singing hymns and conducting room visits to pray with room-bound residents. We average 14-25 residents a service. This week, for the first time in in three months, we were able to share room prayers with five residents, thanks to the loan of three iPads by the Katherine Low Settlement.

It was joyful moment and I confess that I wept.

These iPads have been a lifeline to residents, allowing them to speak with their families, as well as providing a point of contact at the end of life. We would like to share with the congregation that residents and carers have died at Meadbank from Covid-19. When a date can be set for a Meadbank memorial service, we will share the date with the congregation.

Across the country there has been a perfect storm of problems for care homes: the sourcing and provision of PPE, patients untested for Covid-19 being released from hospitals into care homes and staff shortages. Covid-19 has acted  an X-ray and made clear some systemic inadequacies in the social care system that need to be tackled. You can click this link to find a report from the Office for National Statistics about these issues.

So, what can we at St. Mary’s do to further help support the residents and staff at Meadbank?

First, it would be wonderful if you could hold the Meadbank managers, stafflike and residents in your daily prayers. The staff told us it made a difference to them knowing we were praying for all of them during lockdown. Also the cakes, the knitted hearts, the knitted dementia muffs and the loan of the iPads have been very much appreciated.

Secondly, we would like to share this link to a Citizen’s UK petition for a living wage for carers. The ONS report found that homes with paid sick leave and higher salaries had a lower rate of transmission, so we think tackling this issue could be a win-win, for staff, for residents, and for all of us. Please consider reading, signing and passing this petition here.

Thirdly, in the years ahead, do consider volunteering to be a part of the Meadbank team. It is a wonderful group of people. We cannot say that serving at Meadbank is always easy. It can, at times, be very sad and upsetting. But we do the work together and share the journey with staff, residents and each other.”

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