Care for our Carers

The past few months under lockdown have been difficult for everyone, not least for Henfield’s isolated and vulnerable residents and the professional carers who have been looking after them in care homes, sheltered accommodation and in their own homes, often under extremely challenging conditions.

That’s why the Henfield Community Partnership, supported by BN5 Magazine, Henfield Churches, The Henfield Helpline, Henfield Haven, Henfield Hub and various clubs and groups have launched an initiative to show how much we all support and care for them. 

The concept of “Care for Carers” is twofold – firstly, to show our appreciation, in small but significant ways, for the difficult and challenging work that carers have been carrying out in looking after the most vulnerable residents in our village. It’s also to acknowledge these vulnerable residents themselves who have found themselves very isolated from village life over the past few months and have been missing visits from their friends and families. 

This is truly a partnership project and we would like to encourage everyone to be part of it. Some groups are already ahead of the game, like the amazing Henfield Football Club U8’s who raised an incredible £2,257 last month (and scored a smashing 2,000 goals!) to buy hand creams for carers and key workers in the village and beyond. 

We are starting with some small projects (see below) that everyone can join in with, but if you have additional ideas of how you, your family or your club or society can contribute over the next few weeks and months, please contact Paul Crowe at the Henfield Community Partnership, project coordinators, by emailing henfieldhcp.info@gmail.com. We will be publishing all your ideas and successes in future editions of BN5 and you’ll find details in the Parish Magazine, Henfield Hub and all the local social media sites. The Henfield Helpline, based at the Henfield Haven, will act as the collection point for all donations and deliveries while the Helpline volunteers will be helping to distribute the gifts, letters and plants.

For our Carers

We plan to create small thank-you gifts for carers in the form of little luxury packages. We are looking for donations of new (unused and in-date) hand creams, small soaps and shower gels, nail products and other ‘treat’ items, as well as little chocolates, scented candles and small useful gifts. Maybe you have a present ‘stash’ you could raid, or perhaps you could add a couple of items onto your weekly shop? We appreciate these are difficult times for many families in the village, but even if you can only give a little it will be very much appreciated. 

Please drop your donations off at the Henfield Haven Café (where the Helpline operates) between 10am-4pm on weekdays, where you will be given the opportunity to fill out a goodwill message tag with a personal message of support. 

These items will then be beautifully wrapped in cellophane and ribbon with a personal message tag attached and delivered safely to the care homes, carers and those working on the front line, those who deserve a little ‘thank you’ and to know that their hard work is appreciated.

For our vulnerable residents

Write a letter

Children can write a cheerful letter or a card for an elderly resident. These will be forwarded to our local Care Homes, please add a name and address if you would like a reply, some of the residents are great letter-writers and would love to respond!

Here’s some ideas of what children can write:

Write about where you live, what you’ve been doing in lockdown, your family and pets if you have them. Perhaps ask them where they went to school and if they had a best friend, ask them to tell you a story about their school days. Tell them the type of music you listen to, or if you like to dance or play a sport, or if you did something special for VE Day 75. You could tell them about your hobbies, if you like playing computer games or ride your bike. What are you missing, your clubs or groups, your school friends? These are just a few ideas.

Draw a picture 

Our Care Homes and elderly residents living on their own would love a bright picture by one of our younger artists to cheer up their rooms, could you paint one? Use your imagination, you can draw your pets, or your family, or you can draw a unicorn, a multicoloured friendly monster or even a rainbow! The brighter and more colourful the better. You can use paint, coloured pencils, felt-tips or collage – whatever you want. A picture will certainly bring a smile to someone’s face! 

Decorate a pot for a windowsill plant

You can collect an empty plant pot or two from the Henfield Haven (perhaps pop in when you’re on your daily exercise) and decorate it! Children and adults can join in with this activity. Use whatever materials you wish; paints, stickers, sequins and ribbons, glitter and transfers. Please deliver it back to the Henfield Haven where the Ground force Team will pot a plant into it ready to brighten someone’s day. Very importantly, please fill in a message tag and put a name on it, too. 

Many thanks to Rushfields for donating plant pots and helping with supplies of bedding plants.

Donations for gifts, completed letters, cards, pictures and decorated plant pots should be taken to the Henfield Haven and they will be distributed safely by Helpline volunteers. We have at least 150 residents living in local care homes and sheltered accommodation, with even more being cared for in their own homes by local care providers. There are around the same number of professional carers working in Henfield, too, wouldn’t it be nice to make sure each one knew just how appreciated they are?

Thank you for showing you care.

Sarah Butler for the Henfield Community Partnership