MHA- Ealing live at Home Scheme
The story so far…
“We know there are going to be more older people…”, when we hear this our thoughts go to statistics about their needs not contributions, dependency model. There is ageism in society, which focusses on issues of cost and burden, in a system that is not working, rather than recognising older people are essential parts of the community.
So the questions asked to the Church- Ealing Trinity Circuit were:
Q: Should we care? How? Do we know enough about older peoples’ needs and challenges, and can we meet them with respect, dignity and promoting their spirituality?
Q: Who is my neighbour? People become unreachable, as family and friends fade away, or winter coming when people become invisible. How do they fit into the church system that supports them? Where are they in church priorities?
What can we do? Church can talk about neighbours, as people in communities, but we need to think differently, with resources and capabilities, community is about old and young together, younger parents needing older support, where they do not have family support nearby.
Churches are good at friendships, being there for the long haul, good neighbours, people in crisis- but many of those areas are cast into question when safeguarding/ boundaries are mentioned- so we need a scheme that will meet needs, provide volunteers with training and monitoring, resources and support.
We need to base our scheme on mutuality, young and older people together, so all can participate- older people blossom when they are seen as a resource.. As the community of God, the church promotes listening to one another, sharing our stories, engaging with God’s story and builds relationship and trust, which promote flourishing.
And so, Ealing Trinity Circuit have set up a scheme Ealing Live at Home Scheme. There’s a committee, who work with MHA co-ordinators, who are responsible for the day to day running of the scheme. A manager has been appointed to work 25 hours a week and his job is to make links with all the local contacts we have and the churches. The outcome will be a list of volunteers and members, who can attend any of the sessions run under the scheme.
At our taster day the included massage, exercise, crafts, conversation over meals and refreshments, Quiet spaces for reflection, gardening. The sessions will be run out of the churches. Members will pay a membership fee, which will ensure the scheme runs after the initial three years, for which we have some funding. Each volunteer will be trained and each member met and their interests discussed.
The MHA office is in Room3 at Greenford Methodist Church, where you can contact the scheme manager and our Deacon Lemia Nkwela, whose work supports the scheme.