ISSUE 1 2017
IN THIS EDITION
• Heart for Art Expansion • Morlich goes down Memory Lane • What are Twiddlemuffs? • Personalisation gets Personal • Me and My Job: Rebecca Tennant • Caring Across Scotland
Moderator in Driving Seat Rt. Rev. Dr. Russell Barr aboard the Polmont Family Bus during CrossReach Week See feature on pages 8 & 9
OUR SERVICE AREAS
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Children and Family Counselling and Support Criminal Justice Homeless People
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Learning Disabilities Mental Health Older People Substance Misuse
DID YOU KNOW? Self-directed Support, which gives people control over the budget spent on their support, is being rolled out across Scotland and will be available to everyone using social care services by 2020.
FEATURES Heart for Art growth
The Heart for Art project continues to grow and now has nine groups operating around Scotland. Page 4 Personalisation
ersonalisation P Officer Susan McGregor explains the challenges of introducing Self Directed Support in CrossReach Services to Older People. Page 5 Me and My Job
Community and Events Officer Rebecca Tennant reveals why she loves working for CrossReach and what happened when she went to the Arctic Circle! Page 11
News GLASGOW The Daisy Chain Project in Glasgow recently welcomed Minister for Childcare and Early Years, Mark McDonald MSP. Funded through the Scottish Government Early Years Early Action Fund, Daisy Chain helps families of different faiths and cultures come together through play and also make good relationships in their communities.
ARDROSSAN Congratulations to John and Evelyn Pringle who recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. John is a resident in South Beach House in Ardrossan and a surprise party was held in the home to mark the couple’s Blue Sapphire anniversary.
SCOTLAND In 2016, the winning design of the CrossReach Christmas Card competition (pictured) was by Morag Shirley from Ayr. This year there will be TWO prizes – one for children under 14 and another for adults. The competition closes on 27th March. Look for a poster in your church or call 0131 454 4374 for more information.
Editorial You wouldn’t believe how many roles our volunteers carry out to support CrossReach services throughout Scotland! The roles include volunteer Counsellors who have successfully completed recognised training courses, crèche workers in our Perinatal Services, administrators and friends groups who provide extra support in fundraising and being another friendly supportive face. These are just a few of the many volunteering opportunities that are available. One of our volunteers, Jim, tirelessly provides a half day each week to the Polmont Prison Centre Family Hub and Bus and is the welcoming face to visiting family and friends. The bus is open every day, and we are looking for more friendly faces to join Jim and the team. Some people who use our services are also volunteers. Margaret from Threshold Glasgow, CrossReach Volunteer of the Year 2016, is part of a small Care Inspectorate team that assesses the quality of care services and she also travels around local colleges and universities to speak about what CrossReach does. We also rely on volunteers in churches and groups around Scotland to help raise our profile and essential funds to keep our services going. You can collect stamps, plan fundraising events, be a Congregational Supporter or invite a speaker to come and talk at your group or church. So, could you be a volunteer for CrossReach? Please e-mail us on: firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest and we will update you with volunteer opportunities in your area.
Hugh Brown, Editor
Published three times a year by CrossReach. Please feel free to use any material or articles contained in this magazine, with an appropriate credit. CrossReach, Charis House, 47 Milton Road East, Edinburgh. EH15 2SR. Telephone: 0131 657 2000, Fax: 0131 657 5000, Email: email@example.com
Social Care Council
Operating as CrossReach Scottish Charity number: SC011353
Gift from Tea is definitely Merseyside for two! CrossReach Chief Executive Officer Peter Bailey expresses personal thanks for a substantial gift from Merseyside.
CrossReach has enjoyed tremendous support from St. Andrew’s Church of Scotland in Liverpool over the years having receiving a total of over £54,000 in annual donations since 1996. It was with very mixed emotions that the Convener and I attended the service of dissolution in Liverpool in November conducted by Rt. Rev. Dr. Russell Barr, Moderator of the General Assembly. It was a wonderful service of reminiscence and thanksgiving for the witness for Christ in Liverpool since 1824. We were overjoyed to receive a cheque for £20,000 for the work of CrossReach which will be used to develop our Social Care Mission work across the whole church, and to hear that the congregation had made provision for future support to CrossReach through a St. Andrew’s legacy fund held in trust by the Presbytery of England. We are hugely grateful to those who worshipped at St. Andrew’s and wish them well in their new places of worship whilst assuring them that their witness lives on as a result of their sacrificial giving to CrossReach.
Director of Services to Older People Allan Logan explains how we can help end loneliness.
Many of us have spent the past few weeks enjoying time with family and friends over Christmas and New Year. Spending time with the ones we love is the best way to recharge after a busy year and look forward to the opportunities the New Year will bring. Yet, the Scottish Government reports that 10% of people over 65 are often or always lonely; this increases to 50% for people older than 80. That means 97,000 of our fellow citizens in Scotland are lonely. Loneliness is linked to serious health problems like depression, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system. People are made to live in society, sharing our experiences with others. When members of our communities are isolated, the rest of us are missing out on the experiences, wisdom and stories they have to share. Ending loneliness is as simple as dropping in for a cup of tea. Over the last year, CrossReach services have shared thousands of cups of tea, and people in our communities have shared their lives with us. In May, Baron Hope of Craighead, the Queens’ Lord High Commissioner,
visited us for tea in Edinburgh. South Beach House in Ardrossan celebrated a Golden Wedding with tea and cake. During CrossReach Week, the Moderator of the Church of Scotland flew in to Shetland for tea at CrossReach’s Walter and Joan Gray service. Williamwood House in Glasgow was the venue for a wedding, meaning the bride’s mother could be at the heart of the celebrations. None of this would be possible without CrossReach’s amazing staff, who go the extra mile to ensure the people they support are welcomed into the community. But, no matter who you are, you can make an extraordinary difference to people just by sharing a pot of tea.
Services to Older People
Heart for Art expansion There are now 9 ‘Heart for Art’ groups operating across 9 different Local Authority areas
The project’s growth means that CrossReach can engage with more people living with dementia and their families and has been made possible thanks to a grant allocated by the Life Changes Trust. Participants continue to express what they value about being involved with comments such as: “I never used to like art. I haven’t done it for years. I remember being told off at school ‘that’s not the way to do it’. But I think this is very good. I enjoy it and I’m chuffed I’ve done it.” Acting Manager Laura Mcleod explains more: “Recent developments include the opening of new groups in Musselburgh and the West End of Glasgow. We have recruited volunteers for these groups and provided both dementia and safeguarding training to
ensure delivery and expectations are consistent across all of our groups. We have also welcomed new volunteers to support some of our other groups with the practical art aspect. We are engaging with young people from schools and art colleges who are very much enjoying their involvement with HfA. This has promoted the growth of life skills for the pupils involved and has brought real enjoyment to our participants. Our art college students have impacted similarly, forming lovely connections that demonstrate genuine care. There has been a creative exchange between participants and students as skills and techniques are shared as well as stories. One art student is quoted as saying: “This opportunity has shown me the importance of patience and empathy. I have also met some amazing people who have made me appreciate all of the opportunities I’ve been given.” We continue to build connection in our communities through exhibiting art, for example at the Kirkcudbright Arts & Crafts Trail. We also have two people exhibiting in the Laurel Gallery in Edinburgh to raise awareness and support for dementia. This is a professional gallery, keen to promote
the benefits of art and mental health. This will not only further promote our service but also raise self-esteem in our participants as well as challenging the generally held assumptions about living with dementia. We were delighted to be involved in the Life Changes Trust Dementia Friendly Communities Conference at Perth Concert Hall in September where we exhibited the art work of HfA members. Some of them shared their experiences of the project with delegates in a Q&A session which was well received, as demonstrated by the following comment: “Absolutely fantastic to see such beautiful, heartfelt work. It inspired me, from
seeing the joy that painting and art brings to everyone, to pick up a brush myself.” Photography continues to be a fantastic way of capturing and sharing class activity. Images are great to reflect on as they embody the ethos of the groups. We are starting to use both imagery and filming as a means of evaluating the impact of the project on individuals and carers.”
Personalisation gets personal Personalisation Officer Susan McGregor explains the challenges and opportunities that CrossReach faces to bring SDS to Services to Older People. Since the Scottish Government announced its Self-directed Support strategy in 2010, Personalisation and Self-directed Support have been much talked about in social care. Personalisation is a philosophy which recognises that everyone is unique and has skills and gifts which they can use to enrich the lives of those around them. As such, it matches our ethos that everyone is made in the image of God. When applied to social care, personalisation recognises that services for people who need support should be designed to suit each individual. Achieving this requires a lot of creative thinking for organisations like CrossReach, but the effort is worthwhile because we end up with services which make an even
are currently trying to answer that question in our services to older people. The foundation of personalised social care is that people who get support have choice and control over their lives. In services for older people, that means designing our services so people can choose, for example, which members of staff support them. Even facilitating simple choices like that can be a challenge when services are still funded by prescriptive block contracts with local authorities, rather than through SDS. There is an additional challenge in residential services when our funding contracts determine the number of staff we can have on each shift, so it can be difficult to put creative new activities in place which
“The foundation of personalised social care is that people who get support have choice and control over their lives.” more positive difference to the lives of people who use them. Self-directed Support is a financial mechanism to try and encourage social care services to become more personalised – it gives people who use services ‘consumer power’ by giving them control over the money that is spent on their support. However, SDS has not been made available to everyone yet. So, how do we make all of our services truly personalised, even without the help of SDS? We
require more staff. There is also an element of risk involved when supporting older people to make decisions and to take risks, a freedom most of us take for granted. The trick is to ensure that everyone is included in the conversation and the risk is reasonable. It’s our role to ensure people can do the things they enjoy but at the same time taking reasonable steps to prevent harm, and that can be a fine line. Our staff’s experience and expertise is essential
here. Rather than focusing on people’s deficits, we need to look more to their strengths and abilities. Older people have a wealth of experience and knowledge built over many years. We must ensure we listen to their needs and wishes so they shape the services we offer. We need to see the people we support as assets, both to their families and also to us as an organisation. People know what is best for them. As well as
receiving support those we support can also volunteer to take ownership of the service so it continuously improves for them and for others. So, how do we make our services for older people truly personalised? There is no one answer. Through supporting CrossReach’s services to become personalised, I have found it’s vital that everyone has a say in how things change. It’s important to bring people along with you on the journey and include and value ideas and opinions from everyone. Personalisation is not about the way services are funded; it’s about how you see people, their value, their choices and how you empower them in every aspect of their life. Personalisation is treating people the way you would want to be treated. The task for CrossReach is to guarantee that personalisation happens against a backdrop of external measurements and rules which don’t always make innovation easy. We believe personalisation is the right way forward because we have seen the difference it makes in people’s lives. We will therefore strive to ensure everyone we support has choice and control over their lives.
Lest We Forget The story of Duncan Currie, one of The Dambusters
Morlich goes down Memory Lane As part of a reminiscence project, Morlich House in Edinburgh has developed a 1950s themed street. Service Manager Glen Brady said: “We utilised an unused garage to make a 1950s living room and kitchen; we then added a Post Office shop front plus a post box and phone box to enhance the street and also made a working sweet shop. The fact that this area is separate from the main house is important as this is a journey to a past time where memories and stories can be shared. Throughout this work we consulted service users who came forward with ideas about décor and what kinds of sweets to have - so from flying ducks to sherbet lemons we have been grateful for all suggestions! This has also helped to make it a project that everyone feels part of. Tea parties are held in the fifties’ house, and on occasions some of the service users even run the shop. Service users and guests are invited to comment on their experience of the house and these have included: ‘An interesting afternoon, enjoying tea and biscuits in the 1950s china. Talking about fine china, penicillin and the cost of housing. A wonderful hour having a great chat about our childhoods.’ All in all, the 50s street has proved to be a very welcome addition to the lives of our residents.”
“Tea parties are held in the fifties’ house, and on occasions some of the service users even run the shop.”
In 1923, nobody knew as they celebrated the arrival of baby Duncan Currie the impact and significance this wee boy would have as he grew into adulthood. During his school years, Duncan became a member of the Air Training Corps and captivated by the dream of becoming a pilot, he left school in 1937 to attend the RAF training school in Waddington. Having completed his basic training in flying Lancaster Bombers, when the war began Duncan flew 45 flights to France and he recalls: “3 of these flights did not make their targets as they were shot at and had to turn back. These were frightening times but we arrived home safely.” In 1943, Duncan was chosen to become part of the Royal Air Force No. 617 Squadron, which would later become referred to as ‘The Dambusters’. After 8 weeks of highly classified training, the specialist unit flew out on the night of May 16th to target 3 dams in the Rhur Valley. Duncan’s wife, Mary shared: “Duncan always said the same thing when he was asked about being a pilot in the war and The Dambusters. ‘Anyone who wasn’t feart was a liar!’” As one of the unhurt survivors of the highly acclaimed mission, Duncan also flew missions on Operation Manna which dropped tons of food into the unliberated and famine struck areas of Holland towards the end of the war. Having completed 7 years as an RAF pilot, he returned to Largs as a Flight Lieutenant. Duncan became a founding member of the RNLI station
RAF 617 Squadron - ‘The Dambusters’
and eventually he bought a newsagents where he worked until he retired. In 2013, having developed Parkinson’s Disease, Duncan decided it was time for him to go into residential care. Supported by his doctor, he chose to move to CrossReach’s South Beach House in Ardrossan as his minister highly recommended the home. Duncan describes that move as being very good. He enjoys the activities, food, visits from family and friends and the support in keeping up with his interests in the RAF: “I want for nothing”, he smiles. On the 4th of September 2016, Duncan was honoured during the Battle of Britain Memorial flight at the Largs Viking Festival. At the end of the fly-past, the Lancaster Bomber tipped its wing to Duncan as a mark of respect. We want to thank Duncan for his bravery and to remember all that the countless others did to protect our freedom – ‘Lest We Forget’.
‘Song of the Clyde’ inspires Invereck “The sweetest of songs is the song of the Clyde…” (R.Y. Bell and Ian Gourley)
For most of the residents from Invereck House near Dunoon, the sentiment of this well-known Scottish folk song rings as true today as it did in days gone by. Because of its specialist focus in supporting older people with dementia, connecting with passions and memories plays a vital part in promoting the wellbeing of residents, and it was during a summertime activity that an idea for a new development in the home was born. The majority of the residents grew up close by ‘the watter’ and raised their children in similar surroundings, so when the sun graced the garden, a paddling pool was filled with water and
the residents enjoyed getting their feet wet and drying them off in the sun. The chatter of memories filled the garden. As each person took it in turn to talk about their special connection with the beach and the River Clyde, a longing to feel the smoothness of the sand became a theme of the discussion. So staff decided that if a visit to the beach was no longer possible for the residents, then the beach should be brought into Invereck! A space was identified as being an ideal location and together with their family members, staff set about creating the ‘beach’ - filling a container with soft fine sand, shells, buckets and spades and other seaside memorabilia. A row of waist-height cupboards were transformed into colourful beach huts and used to support the ‘Invereck House Beach’. Located close to the residents’ rooms on the ground floor, the sandcastles, patterns of shells and artistic writing in the sand quickly became a popular destination. Residents now take time to linger in what was once an unremarkable area of the home, and can once again remember their own stories and passions birthed by their own ‘wonderful Clyde’ and its beaches. Cue Kenneth McKellar!
What are Twiddlemuffs?
Janette Rankin of the Friendship Circle at Cardonald Parish Church in Glasgow initially read about Twiddlemuffs in a Sunday Post article in January 2015, and thought the group might enjoy this creative activity. Twiddlemuffs are double thickness muffs with ‘twiddles’ attached inside and out. They are designed to provide a stimulation activity for restless hands – in particular, those who have dementia. Simple to produce, they are a great way to use up oddments of wool, yarn, buttons, beads, ribbon and sewing trimmings. Aiming to
create 90 Twiddlemuffs for the Erskine care home in Bishopton, non-knitters enthusiastically provided wool and eventually an amazing 330 were made! With the Erskine care home having received their supply, the group then thought of CrossReach. Adams House in Elderslie and Williamwood House in Netherlee were offered Twiddlemuffs and a total of 80 will be delivered in November. Rev Calum MacLeod, minister of Cardonald Parish Church, has been invited to the Friendship Circle to pray a blessing over the Twiddlemuffs and for the people who will benefit from them, before they are distributed. This will be followed by a presentation about the work of CrossReach. Mrs. Rankin enthused: “I would encourage groups to make muffs for local care homes supporting people with dementia in their own areas. They are great fun to make and seem to be really useful.”
Dementia Ambassadors conference
The 3rd annual Dementia Ambassadors conference took place at Celtic Park in Glasgow in November. Over 50 CrossReach Ambassadors came together to share developments in the dementia field. The theme of the conference was ‘occupation’ and creative ways in which people with dementia can be included at every stage of their dementia journey. The first speaker was Edith Macintosh, Rehabilitation Consultant from the Care Inspectorate, who explained about wellness both for the workforce and those we support. Next Laura Mcleod, Acting Manager of ‘Heart for Art’, talked about the potential of Art Therapy for those living with dementia in care homes and the community. The Promoting Excellence Team from SSSC addressed delegates on the issue of creating a portfolio of development through Open Badges and Leadership - two very important elements of the Dementia Ambassadors role. Finally the day was rounded off by the real experts those living with dementia. Dementia Development Co-ordinator Pamela Mackay told CrossReach News: “We are very grateful to the Scottish Dementia Working Group for taking time out to come and talk to our Dementia Ambassadors. The conference has been a huge success and has reinforced the crucial role that our Dementia Ambassadors play in our services.”
CrossReach Week The 4th annual CrossReach Week took place in October. The Moderator of the General Assembly Rt. Rev. Dr. Russell Barr and his wife Margaret travelled to Perth, Garelochhead, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Polmont and Shetland, meeting staff, volunteers and service users and experienced first-hand the work CrossReach does. Hugh Brown spoke to Dr. Barr at the end of the hectic week.
Starting a Social Care Project Moderator – tell us about your experiences of CrossReach Week… It’s been fascinating Hugh. As a minister of the church for many years I thought I knew something about CrossReach and the variety of its work – and I do, but to go and visit many of the places we’ve been to, meeting with staff and volunteers and also some of the service users, really opened my eyes to the amazing work CrossReach does. You chose ‘Love in Action’ as your theme for the week. Did you experience that during CrossReach Week? Absolutely! We started off in Garelochhead at Oasis Day Care – a unit that provides care for some very elderly people. We went to visit Finnescroft Farm on the outskirts of Lennoxtown, looking after children; we were at the Family Bus at Polmont Prison; we flew to Shetland to see the Walter and Joan Gray home, again providing some care for older people. With my own interest in homelessness we spent time at Kirkhaven in Glasgow and we spent our final day at Threshold Edinburgh where adults with particular needs and learning disabilities are looked after. So, yes, love in action – love getting its sleeves rolled up and its hands dirty by looking after people. It’s been very impressive Hugh. How important is it for the Church of Scotland through CrossReach to be involved in all kinds of social care? To describe it as important doesn’t get near the truth. It’s what the church is about. It’s looking after, providing care and support for people who need it most. It’s what it looks like and what it means not to walk past on the other side of human need. What would Jesus think of the work CrossReach is doing? In our service to close the week I used the parable from Matthew’s gospel: “When did I see you hungry? When did I see you thirsty? When did I see you in prison? When did I see you homeless?” That’s what Jesus would have thought of it – that when we do these things for people we support we do it for him. Is CrossReach an integral part of the Church of Scotland? CrossReach helps the Church of Scotland to be the church. One of my favourite theologians is an American Methodist called Stanley Hauerwas – quite a controversial chap I have to say – but he speaks in one of his books ‘Resident Aliens’ about how odd the church is when it’s being the church, and the ‘oddness’ of the church is that we support and take an interest in and care for folk that other people would simply walk past. We don’t have that option – thank goodness! We don’t walk past on the other side of human nature. We stop, and CrossReach lets us see what it’s like when we stop.
Top Ten Tips for Churches 1. It’s all about relationships – at every level. Meet with people face to face, right from the word go. Have coffee, share cakes, develop working relationships. Social Care is all about relationships. 2. Always begin by consulting the community. You have an idea? Great! How do you know it’s needed? How do you know it’s wanted? Ask the people who know best – those living in your community. After all, these are the people who’ll be using your service. 3. Get to know other organisations in your area. This will make sure you know what services are already being provided and you won’t duplicate or create confusion. It’ll also help you know where you can signpost people to and who you might work in partnership with. 4. Find out if your community has a local Community Development Trust – they may be able to support your project in some way. 5. Link in with your Third Sector interface: www.gov.scot/Topics/ People/15300/Localism 6. Have a plan! Be clear, give yourself timescales, delegate tasks and think about the future – where will funding come from? Who will govern and steer the project? What are your expected outcomes? How will you monitor and evaluate what you’re doing to make sure it’s the right support for the right people at the right time? 7. Make the most of Social Media – take photos to raise the profile of what you’re doing and spread the word to those who might benefit from your service (don’t forget consent forms if you’re taking photographs, videos or keeping information about people). 8. Join a ‘hashtag hour’ on Twitter. Most nights around 7pm there’s a dedicated hour to a specific issue such as #mentalhealthhour or #PNDhour. This will get you involved in discussions around the key issues you’re interested in with some of the key individuals in this field. 9. Visit other projects – there’s so much great work going on across Scotland – learn from others and adapt things to fit your own community. Find out about other church projects here: www. socialcareforum.scot. You’ll also be able to access resources you might find useful as the website develops over the coming months. 10. Start small and scale up. Test your ideas, pilot your activities. Review how things are going regularly and don’t be afraid to stop things or make some changes if they’re not quite right. • Liann Weir is Social Care Mission Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
News in brief
CARING ACROSS SCOTLAND
For those who wish to pray, please consider • T he Social Care Council when it meets in February to finalise the CrossReach report to the General Assembly • All of the volunteers that help spread the word about CrossReach, such as Congregational Supporters who are our link with churches • Bill Steele as he delivers his first report to the General Assembly in May since becoming the Convener of the Social Care Council • Staff who are preparing to implement personalisation to people in our Services to Older People across Scotland • CrossReach Chief Executive Officer as he prepares to hand over to his successor when he retires in May • Families who come to our two Prison Visitors Centres at Perth and Polmont and the staff and volunteers who are on hand to support them before they visit their family member in prison • All those who undertake a range of fundraising ventures for CrossReach like the Forth Rail Bridge Abseil in May If you would like to receive our free Prayer Diary three times a year, please call: 0131 657 2000, or download a PDF version from:
Our Mission Statement In Christ’s name we seek to retain and regain the highest quality of life which each individual is capable of experiencing at any given time
If you live in Edinburgh, watch out for the CrossReach cab travelling across the capital’s streets. Taxi number 507 will carry the CrossReach branding on the outside and on the back of the seats for the next 12 months. The idea was a joint initiative between the Business Development and Human Relations departments and is designed to help raise the profile of CrossReach which has been helping people in Scotland since 1869. One of the taxi’s first jobs was to take the Moderator to engagements around Edinburgh during CrossReach Week.
The Moderator’s Golf Challenge, held at the Royal Burgess Club in Edinburgh in September, raised the magnificent sum of £4,000. The event was hosted by Rt. Rev. Dr. Russell Barr, who wanted to be a professional golfer before he entered the ministry. More than 70 players exchanged their teas (and bacon rolls) for different types of tee and the competition got underway. Dr Barr positioned himself on the par 3 13th hole where he took on all comers to pitch nearest the pin. Perhaps not surprisingly, not many players ‘beat’ the Moderator! The team championship was won by a Salvation Army team from Govan who received an engraved salver. The highlight of the day was a moving account from Clare about the support she had received from CrossReach when she was struggling with postnatal depression and didn’t know where to turn: “I felt panic and fear for the future and totally helpless to change it, but once I had made that initial call to CrossReach I immediately felt understood.” An auction of donated lots took the total for the day to £4,000 which will be used to support CrossReach’s Children and Family Services.
Perth Prison Visitors’ Support and Advice Centre has recently had a makeover. The Scottish Prison Service arranged for the centre to be re-decorated, including brightly coloured walls in the children’s area. Also on display are two beautiful large paintings by one of the prisoners. A painting of woodland creatures and birds is on a wall on the children’s area and the other tranquil water scene is a feature in the main lounge. Centre co-ordinator Elaine Waugh says the new look makes a big difference: “We always want the centre to be welcoming and the new décor does exactly that. We’ve got a new board to display the colouring in artwork which was done by service users. We also must thank Collace Church which donated colouring books and pens.”
Fearless CrossReach staff, will be abseiling from the Forth Rail Bridge on 28th May 2017 to raise funds for CrossReach’s Children and Family services! This fantastic event is in its 8th year and supports worthwhile causes across Scotland. Last year over £103,000 was raised, and in 2017 we are hoping it will make a difference in the lives of children and families who are supported by CrossReach services like Daisy Chain Early Years Project, Sunflower Garden and our Perinatal Depression counselling services. We’re looking for people to complete this sponsored abseil. If you would like to take part, please contact Rebecca Tennant (Rebecca.email@example.com or 0131 454 4391) for more information. If abseiling off the bridge doesn’t appeal to you, you could sponsor us instead. Look out for information on our Just Giving page (www.justgiving.com/crossreachchurch). Thank you!
Me and My Job Rebecca Tennant is Community and Events Officer and has eaten reindeer!
When did you join CrossReach? I started with CrossReach in September. So far I’ve loved every minute of it; the staff at Charis House are friendly but also dedicated, professional and kind. The services are not only constantly developing to meet new standards but importantly aim to provide support where there is a real need. There is a genuine feeling of dedication and commitment around fun and a ‘can-do’ attitude - and in my case also around glitter, paper and cards. I spent a significant portion of my first week designing a ‘thank you’ card for the wonderful people that support us. What do you do at CrossReach? My role is primarily to work with churches and groups, guilds, fellowship groups, knitting groups and to assist the volunteers within those. In a nutshell I work to build and nurture relationships with the folk above, value
their contributions to us, recognise them and also to encourage churches and groups not already involved with us to join in the fun (hint!). I build relationships by talking in churches and groups, sometimes on Sunday mornings other times midweek, about CrossReach’s wonderful services, run training days and thank you events for volunteers and work on a personal, human level with every person I interact with. Building awareness of CrossReach’s work is a large part of my role - last week by handing out free cakes and information outside a supermarket in Glasgow! Finally I’m involved in church and group events and maximising these for fundraising and awareness raising. What is it about this particular job that attracts you? I love being creative; both in the ways that I build relationships with people (think hand-made paper made into a card), the ways I interact with churches and groups (think cakes), and the ways events take shape (think more handmade stuff). I also love people; God made each person to be unique and express Him; I love finding out what that expression is. Through something as unique as an event, or as simple as coffee with a volunteer
you get to see the world from many different perspectives. Is it difficult having to ask people for money? It depends how you ask. You have to know your audience, and find out where their heart is. The need for money is real, not imagined, and this makes it worthwhile. Today’s charity climate makes it both harder to get funds and easier at the same time, depending on where you’re looking. Is your faith important to you? Jesus is important to me and he is the author of my faith. It’s the reason we can hope and love and have life! It defines what we do at CrossReach. Jesus’ heart is for the vulnerable, weak and poor and when we let him change our hearts, ours becomes for them too. I’ve been a Christian since I was 17, and following Jesus since I was about 21, and it’s a wonderful journey. Share something about you that a few people know I went to the Arctic Circle recently to meet Santa. I didn’t sit on his knee but I did chat to him for a long time about reindeer. I also have eaten reindeer, it’s very salty!
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Please send this completed form to: Supporter Relations, CrossReach, Charis House, 47 Milton Road East, Edinburgh, EH15 2SR Instructions for CrossReach News 2017 Issue 1