Call: 01892 556 500

Befriending and connecting!

Care Home Friends is an organisation set up to change the lives of care home residents, one person at a time. With about 17,500 care homes across the UK and over 50,000 churches, they want to see every care home adopted by a local church with trained volunteers spending time building friendships with residents, particularly if they don't have family members who can regularly visit them.

Here at Rusthall Lodge, we have a team of wellbeing co-ordinators whose responsibility it is to engage our residents in group and one-to-one pastimes but our latest exciting initiative is to resurrect the ‘Friends of Rusthall Lodge’; a dedicated team of volunteers who will support the social engagement work the Lodge already does with residents and supplement its fundraising activity.

Community Relationship Officer Brenda Boxall organised an inaugural meeting of ‘friends’ today and was delighted with the response she got from her invitations. Fourteen people joined her for morning coffee and pastries in the Woodland lounge to ‘meet and greet’ and in some instances reminisce about old times. Present were former Matrons and employees of the Home and a past Chairman of the ‘friends’ group.

The atmosphere buzzed with stories and reminisences; "always knowing when Matron was coming because of her footsteps" and, "Matron always had her sleeves down when she was in her office but out on the floor, she had them rolled up, neatly tucked in starched white cuffs at the elbow!" Our own reminiscences then brought the legendary Hattie Jacques to mind!

The group have agreed to meet once a month and will make a valued and worthwhile contribution to life at Rusthall Lodge.

Spending time with residents might involve simply chatting, playing a board game, doing a crossword together, or going out for a walk in our garden. The list is endless - any activity that a resident enjoys that builds relationship.

But the benefits don’t stop there. Many ‘friends’ once had loved ones cared for within the Home and they build relationships with individual staff members so that when their loved one sadly passes and their connection with the Home formally ceases, they not only lose their friend or relation but they lose contact with the staff who have become extended members of their family. Joining a ‘friends’ group then becomes an emotional two-way street and a continuation of support, care and friendship for everyone involved.

If you would like to join the 'Friends of Rusthall Lodge', please contact Brenda Boxall on 01892 556500. She and we would love to hear from you because although we lead busy lives, we all have the ability to make a difference to someone somewhere; one person at a time.

As the famous philosopher Winnie the Pooh once said, "We didn't realise we were making memories. We just knew we were having fun!"

Looking for a care home for you, or a loved one, to Live Your Life?

Call 01892 556 500 to arrange a visit to Rusthall Lodge Care Home

Serving Rusthall, Langton Green, Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding areas in Kent and Sussex

Residential care, Nursing care, Respite care

Written on 18th July 2019

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