The DESMOND Talk

New DESMOND Programme logo whtOn Wednesday 6th November Nicola Dolby, Diabetes Specialist Nurse from Teddington Memorial Hospital came to give residents a talk on Diabetes and Healthy eating. DESMOND stands for 'Diabetes Education and Self-Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed'. Nicola talked through how the body works in relation to glucose and insulin. Residents were shown different foods and were asked to say how many sugar cubes they thought each food contained. The results were very surprising, especially for foods such as bread and potatoes as they contain a large amount of sugar. Nicola talked to residents about the importance of activity and exercise and how this can help the cells absorb the glucose, which is a good thing. Everyone enjoyed the talk and left feeling more confident about food choices and how the body benefits from regular activity.

If you would like to know more about diabetes or the Desmond Programme, their website contains a lot of useful resources.

The Full of Life Fair 2019

Free!

Yes it was, though it did seem unnecessarily complicated. You had to register, and sign in which seemed a bit of a drag - though fair enough for the lunch, as places were limited.
There was lots going on. Over the day there were over 1,000 visitors. There were many stalls giving out brochures, free gifts and quantities of information about what is available in the borough for the over 55s.

There were activities, live performances, seminars, taster sessions from everything from Yoga and dancing to Bridge, painting and crafts. There was a quiet space for guided meditations and relaxation, - and I had a lovely hand massage!

It was a great opportunity to get information and advice from businesses, charities and community groups from across the borough and to meet new people. You could speak to local professionals about health options, social care and making the most of digital devices like tablets and smartphones.
You could also speak to Council staff directly about key local services.

The Richmond Charities had a stall, raising our profile in the community. A member of staff and a resident manned the stall in shifts, and met lots of friends, made some new ones, and explained what the charity has to offer.

An interesting and worthwhile experience.

The Full of Life Fair 2019
The Full of Life Fair 2019
The Full of Life Fair 2019
The Full of Life Fair 2019

 

Friends & Neighbours Macmillan Cancer Support Coffee Morning

You can tell when autumn has arrived, apart from leaves beginning to fall, when this charity event appears again on our calendar. Organised as usual by Friends & Neighbours, Pat Platt and her trusty team occupied Hickey's Chapel to set up proceedings for 27th September

All thanks are due to the volunteers who manned (and womanned?) the stalls offering refreshments, lottery, tombola, home baking, arts and crafts, and other attractions. Amongst the hustle and bustle Nancy Baldwin, Mayor of Richmond and her Deputy James Chard enthusiastically joined in what was, in effect a party.

It is very gratifying to report that the sum of £1,025 was raised. This reflects the generosity of all residents and visitors who contributed so handsomely and to whom all thanks are due.

Friends & Neighbours Macmillan Cancer Support Coffee Morning
Friends & Neighbours Macmillan Cancer Support Coffee Morning
Friends & Neighbours Macmillan Cancer Support Coffee Morning

 

The Richmond Charities' afternoon tea at Queen Elizabeth's Almshouses

Jill Davidson, the newest resident of Queen Elizabeth's Almshouses, hosted a wonderful afternoon tea party for the residents of Queen Elizabeth's and Bishop Duppa's Almshouses on Tuesday 20th August. It was a gloriously sunny day so Jill decided the garden would be the perfect place for everyone to enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of delicious carrot cake made by Stuart. The flower covered pergola and parasol gave some much needed shade for those who didn't want to sit in full sun. Jill and Nicola, Jill's niece, were the perfect hosts and everyone who attended agreed that it was certainly a most enjoyable afternoon spent in the company of fellow residents.

afternoon tea at Queen Elizabeth's Almshouses
afternoon tea at Queen Elizabeth's Almshouses
afternoon tea at Queen Elizabeth's Almshouses
afternoon tea at Queen Elizabeth's Almshouses

 

The Richmond Charities' summer garden party at Hickey's Almshouses

After days of rain, the sun came out on 20th August for the Hickey's residents' garden party. There was afternoon tea in the marquee and a competition to guess the number of sweets and biscuits in a jar. But best of all was the giant outdoor games on the lawn. There were darts, quoits, buzz bar, hole in one and most popular of all skittles. These all caused healthy competition and great fun between the residents. A lovely day.

images of Richmond Charities' residents enjoying their summer garden party at Hickey's Almshouses
images of Richmond Charities' residents enjoying their summer garden party at Hickey's Almshouses
images of Richmond Charities' residents enjoying their summer garden party at Hickey's Almshouses

 

The Richmond Charities' 'Good Endings'

Will Salesman satire cartoon

Following the success of a trial workshop several years ago, we are repeating and updating the 'Good Endings' session in September. This is a morning of information-sharing and support around preparing a will, how to go about organising Power of Attorney (including so-called 'Living Will' arrangements), organising a funeral pre-payment plan and practical considerations around planning a good funeral. The afternoon will include an opportunity to hear from visitors from Age UK and a local independent funeral director as well as representatives from the Charity.

Although some people might feel awkward tackling these subjects, it is our experience that having things organised in advance provides a significant degree of relief. Prior organisation also makes things so much easier for family and friends at an already difficult time. Perhaps preparing things in advance is one of the last acts of generosity we can do for our loved ones. The previous afternoon was, perhaps surprisingly, full of laughter and wonderful stories, and the event will be enriched with a few delicious homemade cakes. Residents are welcome to bring a family member who might also like to be better informed.

The Richmond Charities' 'Good Endings' event takes place on 24th September, 10am – 1pm in the Chapel at Hickey’s Almshouses.

The Richmond Charities' Indian Summer Party at Church Estate Almshouses

A wonderful time was had by all at the Indian Summer party that was held at Church Estate. The residents enjoyed authentic Indian Cuisine accompanied by Indian beer and prosecco. A jazz band played in the background and the weather couldn't have been better!

Photos of residents enjoying The Richmond Charities' Indian Summer Party held at Church Estate
Photos of residents enjoying The Richmond Charities' Indian Summer Party held at Church Estate
Photos of residents enjoying The Richmond Charities' Indian Summer Party held at Church Estate

 

The Richmond Charities' Thanksgiving Service - Sunshine (just) and celebration

The first Sunday of July saw one of our annual celebrations at The Richmond Charities. Each year we gather to remember and give thanks for the founders and benefactors of the Almshouses and Charitable Foundations that now make up The Richmond Charities, and to celebrate our life together today. It was touch and go when Gerry put the gazebos up on a rainy Friday afternoon, but by Sunday the clouds were blowing over and the sun was promising to smile on us. The service included some traditional and contemporary music sung by the choir from St Mary Abbots and poems and readings delivered by residents and trustees. Eve Harbud observed how special it was to have an event that brought so many different people together from across the almshouses. She was left, she said, with a renewed appreciation for the charity and the people she lives amongst. And she did mention that the wine afterwards was rather good, too... Suszie Vignoles thought it was a lovely event, with music and readings working together to give the whole afternoon a true community feel that focussed us all around the theme of friendship. 'Postive! Summer-filled! Uplifting!' Thanks to Debbie and her husband Pete for keeping us well-supplied with drinks and snacks.

Photos of residents enjoying The Richmond Charities' annual service of Thanksgiving held in the Chapel at Hickey's Almshouses
Photos of residents enjoying The Richmond Charities' annual service of Thanksgiving held in the Chapel at Hickey's Almshouses
Photos of residents enjoying The Richmond Charities' annual service of Thanksgiving held in the Chapel at Hickey's Almshouses

To see all available images click an image for the full gallery

 

The Richmond Charities' Afternoon tea with bubbles in the award-winning garden at Michel's Almshouses

The residents of Michel's, Bishop Duppas, Queen Elizabeth's and Candler's Almshouses all got together on Wednesday 10 July to enjoy afternoon tea and prosecco. The tables were filled with finger sandwiches, savouries and of course cream cakes and mini fruit tartlets all washed down with tea and several bottles of ice-cold prosecco. To quote our Chief Executive, Juliet Ames-Lewis,

"The icing on the cake"

was having Peter Cogavin and his wonderful music which everyone enjoyed.

Photos of The Richmond Charities' Afternoon tea with bubbles in the award-winning garden at Michel's Almshouses
Photos of The Richmond Charities' Afternoon tea with bubbles in the award-winning garden at Michel's Almshouses
Photos of The Richmond Charities' Afternoon tea with bubbles in the award-winning garden at Michel's Almshouses

 

The Richmond Charities' 'Out & About with my Freedom Pass' Group

Photos of residents enjoying recent Out & About trips in LondonThe 'Out & About' Group has enjoyed recent trips, in London, to the Natural History Museum, Kenwood House and Gardens and The Guildhall Yard.

The Richmond Charities' Ukelele Concert given by The Avenukes

On Friday 14th June we were treated to a Ukulele concert in our beautiful chapel at Hickey's Almshouses.
The performers "The Avenukes" are a group of players from The Avenue Club (a local social club) based in Kew.
The performers turned up brightly dressed and had a variety of assorted coloured Ukuleles and played all the old popular songs so the residents could sing along.
It was a fun and very enjoyable afternoon and after the show light refreshments were served.
We would gladly invite them back as everyone who attended really enjoyed the performance and a few went off humming some of the tunes!

Photo of The Avenukes Ukelele Concert
Photo of The Avenukes Ukelele Concert
Photo of The Avenukes Ukelele Concert
Photo of The Avenukes Ukelele Concert

 

The Richmond Charities' Residents' Day Trip to Southend-on-Sea

On 12 June residents of The Richmond Charities went on the annual day trip to Southend-on-Sea. Despite the rain everyone really enjoyed themselves. Many residents headed straight for the fish and chips when we arrived! Residents also enjoyed the train ride along the pier. There were lots of good shops for people to look around and time for ice-creams before heading home.

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richmond charities in southend on sea 2
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The Richmond Charities' Autobiography Group

'It may be a small life; we may not have done anything particularly great or inspiring, but our memories make us what we are and those who love us are interested in that.'

Photo of The Richmond Charities Autobiography Group sharing memories and experiencesOne of the great gifts of age and maturity is that it can give us a new, and sometimes surprising, perspective on our own lives. Like fine wines, our memories can change and deepen as time passes and we feel differently about things at different points in our lives. Over the past several years we have run an Autobiography Group at the almshouses. We use a series of guided exercises that can help anyone organise and write down their experiences and share them in a group with others on the same journey. The method is particularly helpful for those who like the idea of writing their own story for family or friends (or simply for themselves) but don't know where to begin.

By the end of the course of 10 weeks, participants will have a 'collage' of their life experiences which, if they want to, they can further work on to turn into a more polished autobiography. However, many feel that going through this process together is almost more important than worrying about any finished product. Residents have found the experience helps them to celebrate the great joys of their lives and come to a new relationship with more troubling experiences.

Our new autobiography group is now in full swing and it feels like a warm and supportive environment in which to do this work together. Tears and laughter are regularly found hand in hand.

As a previous participant wrote, 'Realistically I know that never again am I going to climb a mountain in the Lake District or dance the night away, but I did it once and have the memories - and I can do it in my head whenever I want to!'

 

The Richmond Charities’ Bridge Club

The Bridge Club meets twice a week in our communal room and is open to everyone from beginners to experts. The club is run by residents for residents and is informal and fun with the emphasis on socializing – plenty of tea and biscuits! New members are very welcome.

Photos of  Bridge Club hosted by The Richmond Charities
Photos of  Bridge Club hosted by The Richmond Charities
Photos of  Bridge Club hosted by The Richmond Charities

 

The Richmond Charities' Residents' visit and lunch at Lynde House

Lynde House Care Home in Twickenham kindly invited 20 residents along for lunch on 24th April. We were greeted with a glass of sherry followed by a three course lunch with wine and then coffee and mints to end. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Alison McIntosh, the manager, and all her team including the chef made us all feel very welcome and following lunch we were free to wander around the beautiful gardens. Alison has invited residents to join them any Wednesday for a complimentary lunch. If you would like to take them up on that generous offer please call Lynde House on 0208 892 4772 giving them a few days' notice so they know to expect you.

The Richmond Charities' Residents' visit and lunch at Lynde House
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To see all available images click an image for the full gallery

 

The Richmond Charities' Shakespeare's Postbag

In 'Shakespeare's Postbag' a delightful and professional ensemble piece was performed by Richard Howard (Candler Almshouses) and three fellow thespians. Ancient Rome, medieval Verona, mystical Illyria and the bleak Cambridgeshire castle of a dying and much wronged queen were amongst places visited to witness the effect of such missives. The tragedies, the comedies and the histories were included in the one-hour performance. Everyone enjoyed a glass or two of wine and some nibbles afterwards.

Richmond Charities Shakespeares Postbag 1
Richmond Charities Shakespeares Postbag 2
Richmond Charities Shakespeares Postbag 3

 

The Richmond Charities' Bingo afternoons

Our monthly Bingo sessions are held in our beautiful Chapel in the grounds of Hickey's Almshouses.  In 2019 Bingo takes place on Wednesdays on the following dates:

  • 3rd April
  • 1st May
  • 12th June
  • 3rd July
  • 14th August
  • 11th September
  • 2nd October
  • 13th November
  • 11th December

It only costs £1.00 to join in and this includes tea & biscuits as well as prizes and jackpot!  This is a very sociable group and is run by one of our almshouse residents.  Do come along and join in!

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The Richmond Charities' Shrove Tuesday Pancake morning

Shrove Tuesday smallResidents who attended the weekly drop in on Shrove Tuesday enjoyed pancakes. The residents were given a variety of fillings to choose from which included strawberries, bananas, chocolate, maple syrup and of course the traditional lemon and sugar, all of which went down a treat!

The Richmond Charities' Shakespeare's Postbag

ShakespeareWilliam Shakespeare comes to the Chapel of St. Francis on Wednesday 27 March at 6pm. We present: SHAKESPEARE'S POSTBAG.

An hour of entertainment followed by drinks. SHAKESPEARE'S POSTBAG, a selection of momentous letters sent and received by Shakespeare's immortal characters, was first performed at the Henley Literary Festival in 2016, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. It was seen again last year at the Garrick Club in London. The cast includes Jeremy Child (Judge John Deed, The Madness of George III), Richard Howard (Shakespeare in Love, Jane Eyre), Sally Nesbitt (RSC, The Avengers), Emily Raymond (RSC, Pop-up Shakespeare 2018), Tam Williams (RSC, The Lottery of Love at the Orange Tree, Richmond).

 

The Richmond Charities' Craft Group

The Richmond Charities craft club have worked hard for the last three months having such fun creating the wonderful yarn bomb that is now on display at Hickey's Almshouses. It will hang for one month and will brighten the trees before they bloom again. It will hopefully be a talking point and bring joy to the wintery month ahead. A huge THANK YOU to all those in the craft club for all the hard work, creativity and love that they have put into this lovely piece of art. The craft club would love to welcome new members so if you are free on a Wednesday morning at 10am please pop along.

Yarn Bombing 1
Yarn Bombing 2
Yarn Bombing 3

 

The Richmond Charities' Stories for the Soul

Stories for the Soul 2Stories for the Soul is an opportunity to nurture our spiritual well-being. Each week we create a unique community around the table where we can be ourselves and our story is valued. Our feelings, our search for meaning and purpose, our sense of awe and wonder, our creativity, beliefs and relationships are welcomed, affirmed and cherished. We hope that this special atmosphere will be carried into the wider community of The Richmond Charities.

Beginning on 13th March at 10am and, weekly throughout the period of Lent 2019, we will be sharing some Stories for the Soul in The Green Room. Each session follows a simple and familiar pattern. We meet informally and ensure everyone is welcomed before sharing a story from the Jewish or Christian scriptures using some carefully made and beautiful materials.

Stories for the Soul 1

 There is then an opportunity to share any thoughts or questions that the story has inspired. This is a time for listening to one another - there are no 'right' answers and each of us is invited to find our own meaning in the story. A period of free response follows where we can pursue our own wondering. Some people engage in creative work with the materials provided, others may choose to work with the materials from the story itself or simply enjoy some quiet time. Finally, we share a simple 'feast' together and enjoy one another's company.

In this course of stories we will be especially focussing on the Parables of Jesus. Often taught as simple moral messages, the Parables can be far more unsettling. They challenge us to imagine a very different world, turned upside down and inside out.

 

The Richmond Charities' Residents' Drop-in mornings

Residents' Drop-in Mornings

We hold this event every Tuesday in our communal space called The Green Room. It's an informal morning where residents can socialise with a cuppa and biscuits. There are plenty of board games, puzzles and cards for spirited competition! The Green Room has a fully equipped kitchen so can be used for a wide variety of social events.

 

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The Richmond Charities’ Film Club

Film Club Leaflet

 

The film club was set up a few years ago by the residents of The Richmond Charities. Residents meet in the Chapel twice a month to watch a film that has been chosen by the committee from the list of DVDs that are available to them.

 

This month residents can enjoy “Mamma Mia! Here we go again”, a comedy starring Meryl Streep, and “Zulu”, a drama based on the battle at Rorke’s Drift. Once again it’s a chance for residents to get together and enjoy each other’s company with a nice cup of tea during the interval.

 

pdfDownload the revised February 2019 Film Leaflet

The Richmond Charities' Strength and Balance classes

The Richmond Charities started these specialised classes in May 2017 in response to some residents who wished to attend a gentle exercise class which would offer strengthening of muscles to help with balance and mobility. This in turn helps build confidence, especially if someone has experienced a fall in the past. Gill Williams, the teacher who runs these sessions, is highly qualified in this field as she has worked with the Richmond Falls Prevention team for a number of years. The residents that take part also have fun and it helps with socialising which helps combat isolation.

The classes run on Fridays from 2pm - 3pm in the Chapel at Hickey's Almshouses. All are welcome!

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The Richmond Charities' Almshouse Book Club

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

The Almshouse book club was set up following suggestions from residents. Members meet once a month where they discuss and compile a list of possible books that they would like to read the following month. The group also have a discussion about the book they have read in the previous month over a cup of tea. One of the books that was read recently was 'Still Alice' by Lisa Genova. This book created a lively review meeting where most people said they enjoyed the book although they said it was a worrying and close to home subject, as it was about Alzheimer's disease. One member found it badly written and a 'band-wagon' book but they all had plenty to say. Members scored the book between 0-7 out of 10.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison is the book that is currently being read by the Almshouse book club. This is Ralph Ellison's first novel. It was published in 1952 when American society was on the cusp of immense change. Invisible Man is the story of a young black man from the South who does not fully understand racism in the world. He encounters many people and situations that slowly force him to face the truth about racism and his own identity.

The book club is open to all Almshouse residents, even those who are unable to attend the meetings. These residents can have a book delivered to them so they are still able to actively participate as they can write a review of the book and send it to the meeting for the other members to read and discuss.

Residents' Christmas Lunch

On 14 December 2018 The Richmond Charities hosted lunch for 120 residents, trustees and staff at the Richmond Hill Hotel. A fabulous time was had by all, with fantastic food, service and a wonderful atmosphere. Everyone enjoyed the festive quiz, raffle and excellent cracker jokes!

Richmond Charities Christmas dinner 2018 CR 1382
Richmond Charities Christmas dinner 2018 CR 1485
Richmond Charities Christmas dinner 2018 CR 1500
Richmond Charities Christmas dinner 2018 CR 1513