Weekly Community Roundup – 13th December 2019

Christmas Dementia Café

The ‘Wm. Dodgson & Son Dementia café’ was in full festive swing on Wednesday 4th December. There were Christmas crackers, mince pies, and a good old fashioned singalong to Christmas carols. Everyone received a bag of chocolates and went home full of festive cheer.

The ‘Down Memory Lane café’ runs once a month and is attended by residents from local nursing homes, their carers and family.

The team at Wm. Dodgson & Son Funeral Services have all received Dementia Friends training, an Alzheimer’s Society initiative to raise awareness and understanding of the condition.
Down Memory Lane will be back on Wednesday 8th January 2020.

Christmas memory bear display

The community in Eastleigh who knit clothes for premature babies have kindly made hats and scarves for the memory bears that form part of the window display in the Eastleigh funeral home.

Each year a memorial Christmas tree is put in the window and people are invited to write a message of remembrance on a star for someone special they remember at Christmas.

A H Rogers & Sons Funeral Directors works closely with Southampton University Hospital and in 2018 formally dedicated one of their remembrance chapels to babies and young children who have passed away.

Helping hand for Handsworth Pre-school

The Higham’s Park branch are proud to support Handsworth Pre-school at Higham’s Park Baptist Church.

Alongside Business Development Manager Loraine Charter, Funeral Arranger Alison Orrow visited the pre-school to see what the group offers to children and to find out about the type of support they need. A commitment was made to provide a donation to the group which paid for the printing of parents’ booklets for the start of the September 2019 Term and an outdoor banner.

Alison said: ‘Going forward we will continue our help with offers of learning materials, refreshments, and/or play items. The pre-school receives no government funding so every penny counts. When the Minister of the Church, Rosemary Eaton introduced me to the group I knew immediately I wanted to offer support to something which is such a vital community resource.’

The pre-school provides childcare and pre-school education for two and half to five year olds and provide a much needed facility in the community where the children are encouraged to develop as happy, imaginative, confident and independent individuals.

Alison plans to attend their Christmas Nativity taking place on Friday 13th December.

At the checkout for charity

On 3rd December 2019 Funeral Arranger Michelle Shayler from HAVEN Funeral Services, Northwood branch took part in a charity bag pack.

Michelle and other volunteers who kindly gave up their time were on hand at the Hatch End branch of Morrison’s to help customers pack their shopping for a small donation. A staggering £728.27 was raised for the Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre.

The Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre is based at the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Northwood. It provides support and information for people affected by cancer.

The money raised can be used in so many ways e.g.

• £250 – could fund seven complementary therapy sessions at the Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre to help ease the side effects of a patient’s cancer treatment
• £250 – could fund Mount Vernon Cancer Centre’s volunteering service for one day

Thank you to Michelle and the other volunteers – who knows you may see them at a supermarket near you!

Christmas Memorial Service

Doves Funeral Directors, Sittingbourne held their annual memorial service on Thursday 5th December.

Conducted by Funeral Celebrant Robin Horsham the service took place in the intimate and comfortable surroundings of the branch.

Julie said: ‘It was lovely to see friends old and new come together for this service of remembrance
Everyone who attended received a robin memory pin and said what a lovely gesture it was.’

Thank you to Area Development Manager Richard Schacht who kept everyone topped up with tea and mince pies.

Spreading Christmas cheer far and wide this Christmas

Well-known community fundraiser and Funeral Arranger Jeanette Husselbee has been busy collecting in donations for a host of good causes.

Ward 19 which is the Paediatrics Assessment Unit at City Hospital were the first recipients to receive donations of selection boxes and toys which are sure to delight to bring smiles to all the children’s faces.

West Midlands Ambulance Service were gifted a delicious chocolate hamper, and a local family living on a low income were delighted to receive food for their Christmas Day meal and festive treats.

None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for the support and generosity of the local community so thank you to everyone who contributed. However big or small, your contribution has made a difference to someone else this festive season.

Boxing Day Dip

A team of 20 from John G Hogg Funeral Directors in #Sunderland will be taking part in the ‘Boxing Day Dip’ this year in honour of their dear friend and colleague Steve Gunby who is currently receiving chemotherapy for Myeloma, and in memory of everyone the team has cared for over the years.

Organised by Sunderland Lions Club, the event takes place on the coastline at Seaburn Beach and has become an annual tradition in Sunderland. Participants from all over the North East dress up in fancy dress, take a dip in the North Sea, raise money for charity and blow the Christmas cobwebs away all in one brisk morning.

The team hope to raise as much as possible for Sunderland Cancer Patient Support at Sunderland Royal Hospital, an amazing charity who not only help and support people going through treatment but also support their families too.

Donations can be made on the Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/steve-gunby

Please like and share this post so that we can help team Hogg raise as many donations as possible and awareness of what this charity can do for anyone facing such a difficult battle against cancer.

Your support is much appreciated and all donations gratefully received.

Christmas Memorial Service

Melia Powell Funeral Service held their first Service of Remembrance on Monday 9th December at Keighley shared Church in Keighley.

Approximately 70 people including children attended the service led by Reverend Dr Jonathan

Pritchard which consisted of traditional carols, readings, prayers and the lighting of candles for lost loved ones.

After the service refreshments were served and many stayed on to chat.

A total of £71.92 was raised for Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice is in Oxenhope, near Keighley. As well as expert palliative care, they support people with life-limiting conditions, and their families.

The first of many annual services, ten people have already asked to be invited to the 2020 service.

Advent Calendar Collection

E Sargeant & Son Funeral Directors received unprecedented support for their annual Christmas charity appeal. The team appealed for donations of chocolate advent calendars and selection boxes for Home -Start Slough.

The charity have been providing support to families in need for 21 years and are the biggest local voluntary organisation to recruit and train volunteers to provide support and a listening ear to struggling families with children under five.

A total of 398 items were donated which really will make a difference to local families. Thank you to everyone for their kindness and generosity.

Help us help the animals

Our Funeral Arrangers Sally and Glenys are collecting donations of food for Last Chance Animal Rescue in Edenbridge.

Last Chance Animal Rescue Centre is a registered charity rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs.

If you would like to donate and can spare some tins or pouches of food we welcome you into the funeral home anytime Monday to Friday during office hours.

Christmas Service of Remembrance

Huntleys Funeral Services held their annual Service of Remembrance On Thursday 5th December 2019 at the Redditch branch.

The team work tirelessly every year to transform an area of the branch ready to receive families whom they have had the pleasure to serve across the year. Approximately 100 invited guests attended the memorial evening, this year led by Civil Celebrant Tracey Flavell

Traditional Christmas carols were sung as well as a prayer, poem and a blessing. As an extra special touch, the team stuck a penny onto the order of service page to represent the penny mentioned in the poem.

At the end of the service everyone was treated to the soothing sounds of the Primrose Choir from Primrose Hospice whilst candles were lit. Primrose Choir raise thousands of pounds each year for Primrose Hospice with members giving their time and voices for free.

Funeral Arranger Sandra Smith said: ‘Many people came up to me and said how lovely it was and were so happy they were able to place their stars on the tree.’

The beauty of a memory
Is that it is always there;
Like a penny in your pocket,
You can take it anywhere.
When your heart is heavy
And your eyes are filled with tears,
You can focus on a memory
And travel through the years.
Your heart can visit happy times,
Remembering Christmases past,
When love and laughter filled the air,
Creating memories that will always last.
So, as you travel on in life,
Take this penny as you go,
Remember a lifetime of sweet memories
Of a special someone who loved you so.