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www.jewishnews.co.uk

6 JULY 2017

Supplement

Your essential update on the good work happening in the community Edited by Brigit Grant


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Jewish News 6 July 2017

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Charity / Fallen soldiers

A REASON FOR

LIVING

The IDFWO helps the widows and children of fallen Israeli soldiers. Deborah Cicurel spoke with one family

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nyone who supports Israel will recognise the importance of the Israel Defence Forces. We shake their hands as we see them walking the streets in their uniform; profusely thank them for their service, raise money for their continued wellbeing and education. But what about when the unthinkable happens and a member of the IDF is killed? As we mourn the loss of a soldier the lives of their families are changed forever. It is during that tragic time of total readjustment that the IDF Widows & Orphans Organisation (IDFWO) offers essential help. The nonprofit charity established in 1991, is the sole organisation recognised by the State of Israel that represents the widows and orphans of Israel’s fallen soldiers and security forces. The numbers are staggering: with the situation in the Middle East so fragile there are 8,000 women and children who have lost loved ones in the Israel defence and security forces. For Sara Omer, an olah from Manchester whose

husband Reuven Omer died in 2008 during a training exercise while on reserve duty, the IDFWO has helped rebuild her family’s life. The charity has allowed her to meet with other people who have gone through similar experiences, while her children have attended camps for orphans of IDF soldiers, and been able to go to North America on a special charity trip for IDF orphans of bar and bat mitzvah age, which they’re still talking about years later. “It’s a wonderful feeling to know that the IDFWO is there for me and my kids throughout the year,” says Omer. “All of these uplifting programmes have played a vital role in allowing me to cope and rebuild our lives in a very positive manner.” The charity runs several events and programmes throughout the year to celebrate milestones and support its members, from young orphans to widows over 80-years-old. “Through these programmes, we believe that we are demonstrating to the IDF orphans that we are there for them throughout every

ah n u m E e Th l l a W t a e Gr Challenge Thursday 26th April Friday 4th May 2018 Trek along one of the world’s most famous and historic landmarks - The Great Wall of China - with steep staircases and crumbling watch towers and raise funds to provide vital therapies for ‘at risk’ children in Israel. Registration: £495 (non-refundable) The trip will be fully kosher.

To sign up, please contact Emunah on 020 8203 6066 or email alison@emunah.org.uk British Emunah Fund - Registered charity number 215398

Rites of passage: Barmitzvah boys celebrating in Jerusalem

milestone that a parent should be at,” says Rachaeli Bacharach, resource development assistant at the charity. “We provide backpacks filled with school supplies for IDF orphans entering first grade and run Otzma Camps for IDF orphans four times a year. We have a large bar and bat mitzvah celebration in Jerusalem, we organise a trip to North America, we provide university and vocational training scholarships and we give wedding gifts to IDF orphans.” The bar and batmitzvah celebration in Jerusalem is a particularly memorable and poignant occasion, where dignitaries and supporters both from Israel and around the world gather to stand in the place of the fallen fathers, showing orphans and indeed widows that they are supported by people around the world, and that their parents’ or spouses’ sacrifice will never be forgotten. For widows there are dedicated programmes to help them with their grief, including the giving of Rosh Hashanah gifts, rejuvenating day trips, a widows’ retreat, medical grants, financial grants, and advanced skills courses that are offered throughout the country. “Through these programmes, we are giving IDF widows a much-deserved break from their hard lives,” Bacharach says. “We’re giving them the tools to help live better lives.” To offer all of this requires funding and there are many way to raise money for this crucial charity. “We love it when supporters get involved,” says Bacharach. “People in the UK can make

tax deductible donations with gift aid through our website, but there are other ways. We have a bar and bat mitzvah twinning project in which a supporter will be paired up with an IDF orphan also going through their bar or bat mitzvah. They get to create a long-lasting relationship while also creating an online fundraising campaign. “People can celebrate their simchas by creating a mitzvah project,” she adds. “We work with our supporters to create an online campaign and give all the necessary resources and support needed. Supporters can also celebrate their simchas by asking for charitable donations to be made to the IDFWO in lieu of gifts. We also suggest hosting barbecues or picnics to raise awareness and funds for IDFWO.” By supporting the charity, you’re not just helping the families of those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for the State of Israel, but also providing IDF soldiers with the knowledge and peace of mind that if something should happen to them, their families will be taken care of. For families like that of Sara Omer, the charity has simply helped the family to go on during the most unimaginably difficult time. In the words of her son, Yotam, still dreaming of his North America trip -“the IDFWO has enabled me to meet people where we feel each other’s pain and support one other. I just can’t imagine my life without the organisation.” • Visit : idfwo.org/donate


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Emergency response / Charity

THE RIGHT

RESPONSE

The director of British Friends of ZAKA explains why his emergency medical volunteer organisation is essential in Israel DAVID ROSE knows all about terror attacks – and one in particular is engraved in his memory. Uniquely Rose, who is director of British Friends of ZAKA is also an emergency medical responder for the Israel-based volunteer organisation and it was in this capacity that he arrived to attend to the victims of a brutal attack by a ‘lone wolf’ during an intifada. “I was working at ZAKA headquarters on Jerusalem’s Jaffa Road when I heard the call to assist at a nearby terror attack,” recalls Rose. “We arrived quickly, worked quietly, blocking out the noise and mayhem of the helicopters, the sirens, the screams, and the anger that surrounded us. We wiped away the blood. We collected the human remains.” The impact of the incident is written across Rose’s face and it is significant to see at a time when Britain is on high alert after three attacks. ZAKA’s other role on such occasions is to ensure a full Jewish burial for the victims and to deal with the terror aftermath in the most dignified manner possible. “To honour the dead and to respect the living,” qualifies Rose – and it is a promise the

UN-recognised organization keeps. These experiences serve to remind Rose of the importance of his role at British Friends of ZAKA which is to help raise funds to buy muchneeded emergency medical, search, rescue and recovery supplies for the 4,000+ ZAKA volunteers in Israel and around the world. But though ZAKA volunteers in their yellow jackets are best recognised for their work at terror attacks, this is just a small part of their work. ZAKA is Israel’s primary search, rescue and recovery organisation, working alongside the emergency and security services at every incident of “unnatural” death. This could be anything from accidents on land, sea and in the home to natural disasters and building collapses. ZAKA also works alongside the IDF Home Front Command in times of conflict. ZAKA has a large fleet of motorcycles equipped with first aid and fire-fighting equipment and ATVs for search and rescue operations, as well as specialist canine, divers, jet-ski and rappelling units – all of them offering a swift and professional response

“We are often the first to arrive at an incident – but always the last to leave,” says Rose. “After helping with the injured to save lives, our volunteers then begin the work of clearing the scene of all the horror and spilled blood. On a global level, ZAKA assists at major natural disasters such as Nepal, Haiti, Japan and Thailand, offering assistance and expertise regardless of religion, race or gender.” British Friends of ZAKA is currently raising

money to buy urgently-needed emergency medical supplies and search and rescue equipment to ensure that the ZAKA volunteers can carry out their sacred work. “Not everyone could do the work of a ZAKA volunteer,” acknowledges Rose. “But everyone can be a partner in their sacred work, by donating money to buy the equipment they so urgently need.” • Visit: www.zaka.org.uk

Disability, not dependency.

When Joel’s parents first learned of his cerebral palsy they were sick with worry about what his future might hold. Now, thanks to Jewish Blind & Disabled, they all enjoy Joel’s independent life in his own mobility apartment with 24/7 on site support. To FinD ouT more abouT how we give The giFT oF inDepenDence or To make a DonaTion visiT www.jbD.org or call 020 8371 6611

eNABLeD Registered Charity No. 259480


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Charity / Helping children cope

THERE’S A PLACE FOR US Cancer has a huge impact on a family and children often struggle the most. Alex Galbinski discovers how Chai Cancer Care helps them to cope

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round three years ago, when Gemma Buckland’s husband, Jimmy, now 42, was diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer, the couple weren’t sure whether and what they should tell their twin daughters. But, having been put in touch with Chai Cancer Care, the charity’s therapist advised them that it was best to be honest. The girls, aged eight at the time, had different needs. One, Talya, was very keen to discuss her feelings, while the other, Eliana, kept them to herself. Talya went weekly to see a Chai play therapist straight away. “Everyone has a smile when you go in [to Chai], you get a cup of tea, a plate of biscuits. It was something purely for Talya. She would talk about it all, and it really helped her,” recalls Gemma. Eliana started music therapy with Chai a couple of months later. “Eliana would start crying and not know why. Chai’s music therapist taught her how to play the piano. He saw she was a perfectionist and that, when things weren’t going perfectly,

she couldn’t cope. So he used music to help her deal with things when they aren’t OK.” The chemotherapy Jimmy had to stop the growth of his pancreatic neuroendowcrine tumours took its toll on the whole family. “After the chemo, he’d sleep for a week, not want anyone around him, then he’d try to be around us, but his nerves were bad. He didn’t want to be touched or hugged, and that was difficult for the girls, but they’re so resilient. “Now Jimmy is on tablets and has scans every three months. The girls no longer see the therapists, although they know the option is there. Chai gives you the mechanisms to cope with your anxieties and helped us to answer the children’s questions. I know it’s never going to go away and we’re trying to live with a new normal.” Chai Cancer Care offers play, art and talking therapies as well as music therapy for children who find it difficult to verbalise their anxieties, from its Hendon base and in

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some of its 11 satellite sites. Aside from the music therapy, these can also be offered in a child’s school, to ensure minimal disruption. “Cancer has a massive impact on all the family, not just the person who has it,” explains Chai’s chief executive, Lisa Steele. “It’s difficult to generalise, because people will be having different treatments and surgery, and people react to things differently but, for example, a mother may not be able to pick up from school, do the school run, make meals or be around after school; there might be a time when one parent is in hospital. Emotionally, they might not have the strength or the capacity to be there in the way they would like to or have been previously.” The person with cancer might also undergo physical changes. Hair might fall out – eyebrows and eyelashes too. “That has a massive effect on children and how they feel,” acknowledges Lisa. “They react in many ways; some can be angry, some can become introverted, some may not be able to sleep. If parents are not communicating, there can be a lot of fear around for the children. It can be very traumatic. It’s a disruption to the family life that a child has been used to and, if we can manage to support those children in a professional way, it is a great benefit to them.” She adds: “Having somewhere they can go to talk about what’s going on for them and their anxieties is very helpful, so they don’t have to feel they’re upsetting mummy or daddy. They’re allowed to speak about the unspeakable. “We find that children even as young as two, when they’re going through a parent being ill or even a bereavement, they really develop and come to terms with what they’ve experienced. This sets them up for the future, as they’re addressing it now, rather than waiting until they’re much older.” The charity does not charge for these therapies and it sees people for as long as they need. “When people are going through cancer

treatment, their finances are often affected so we don’t want to stop anyone having therapies. We will support every child in a family in whatever way is easiest for them as far as possible,” Lisa explains. This includes talking to the teachers of a child whose parent is unwell about how to manage them and the other children around them. Sasha Finlay was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer five years ago, when her youngest child, Jonny, was nearly four. She underwent chemotherapy for six months, followed by radiation. “It was very difficult and stressful for him,” says the 52-year-old. “The chemo was absolutely horrendous. Some days I couldn’t get out of bed and I was sick. You lose your hair, your fingernails, your hands and feet begin to peel… I felt like an alien.” While Sasha attended adult therapies at Chai, Jonny only started weekly play therapy a year after her diagnosis. “Everybody is so focused on the person who has the disease and sometimes you forget about what’s going on around you, and one day we looked at Jonny and realised we hadn’t thought about how it was affecting him. His behaviour had altered and it hadn’t occurred to us it was because he was watching his mummy be really ill.” Jonny had become very insecure; he wouldn’t go to sleep by himself, he was constantly worried about when Sasha was going to “disappear” to hospital, and he wanted to be in charge. “Through the help of the therapist, he has settled down and he doesn’t do any of these things anymore,” she says. Sasha is full of compliments about Chai. “They are all absolutely wonderful – they are very compassionate and are there because they want to help you. It’s such a welcoming, calm place – you feel cocooned from the minute you walk in and it doesn’t matter if you are the cancer sufferer or the spouse; you feel very safe.” • Visit: chaicancercare.org


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Your 1% can help end Jewish poverty A little from a lot of people can make unimaginable changes. Leaving World Jewish Relief a gift in your Will of just 1% of your estate could end Jewish poverty and bring hope to the world’s poorest Jews.

To find out how or for more information on leaving a gift in your Will please contact Richard Budden on 020 8736 1250 or go to worldjewishrelief.org/will

Registered charity no. 290767

Piece together your family history In the 1930s and 40s, World Jewish Relief rescued tens of thousands of people from the Nazis. We have the digitised family records of those we helped. Now we want to give them back to you, for free.

“These papers are a piece of family history which I will treasure forever” Jerry Springer

Find out if we helped your family at: www.worldjewishrelief.org/archives 020 8736 1250

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Charity / Keeping us safe

SAFE, SOUND AND SECURE The well-being of our community rests with one organisation that is always on high alert CST IS COMMUNITY SECURITY TRUST, the charity that provides security for British Jews. They are constantly working against antiSemitism, racism and the threat of terrorism. CST can only ever be as strong as the support that they receive from the Jewish community, because it is from here that CST draws its volunteers, its resource and its mission. CST is here to facilitate Jewish life at a time when terrorism, extremism and antiSemitism can sometimes feel hard to escape from. They literally give our community the chance to play its part in the continuing challenge against those negatives. Above all, they need men and women to step forward and play their part as security volunteers, joining their teams and being trained in self-defence and community protection. In recent years, CST has spent nearly £10 million on enhancing the security of Jewish communal buildings throughout the UK. It is also responsible for obtaining and managing government funding for commercial security guards at Jewish

schools, synagogues and other venues. They are proud of Britain’s diverse and vibrant Jewish community and are determined to ensure its continuing success. They also believe that reducing anti-Semitism is fundamental to safeguarding British values and society from the joint threats of extremism and hatred. CST has offices in London, Manchester and Leeds. More than 80 staff and 1,000 communal security volunteers work in partnership with synagogues, schools, and community centres to help keep the community safe. Together, they secure more than 600 Jewish communal buildings and approximately 1,000 communal events each year. CST helps and supports victims of antiSemitism, and monitors and records anti-Semitic activities and incidents. They are the only UK organisation that records, analyses and publishes nationwide statistics and information about anti-Semitic incidents and hate crimes. Sadly, the number of anti-Semitic incidents has grown. During last year,

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CST often dealt with more than 100 such reports per month. CST represents British Jewry to police, government and media on anti-Semitism and security. It works in operational partnership with police and enjoys the full support of government and the opposition. CST is widely held to be the role model of its type. All of CST’s work is provided free of charge,

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but they rely upon the partnership and active participation of the entire Jewish community: for their volunteer recruits, for their funding, for reporting, and also for the willing co-operation that underpins every one of their activities throughout UK communities. Please, play your part and join them in their work: you may well find it challenging, but it will certainly be highly rewarding.


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A home from home / Charity

HOMES THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Jewish Blind & Disabled magically changes people’s lives with its unique properties THERE ARE DAYS when the dedicated team at Jewish Blind & Disabled could really do with a magic wand. The idea of raising a Hogwarts-like stick and shouting ‘hey presto’ in order to complete work on a new development would eliminate building stress and allow tenants to move in faster to start a new life. Yet it is without the aid of a wand that the charity has been granted planning permission to build 19 new apartments on a site adjacent to its seventh development, Cecil Rosen Court in Bushey Heath. The builders are now on site and will break ground next month, and they’ll be ready to welcome the first tenants early in 2019. Fittingly, the new opening will coincide with another very special milestone – Jewish Blind & Disabled’s Golden Jubilee year, marking 50 years of providing unique services to the community. The new development is great news for people on its waiting list. People who know how a disease will progress because they have seen it in their family; a diagnosis of an incurable illness as someone was planning a career move ; acknowledging that one’s sight has deteriorated to the extent that they can no

visual impairment or physical disabilities. In this new development, however, as in the others, they will be able to join in a varied programme of social activities or enjoy the privacy of their own home when they feel like it. They, and their families, will also have the peace of mind of knowing that there is an experienced house manager on call 24/7. Jewish Blind & Disabled doesn’t simply build apartments; it builds communities. Its tenants are aged from 18 to over 100 and, like in any other community, friendships are made, support offered and interests shared. That is not to say there aren’t the occasional broiges, but we are talking about real life here, not a fairy tale. The new development will be the eighth Jewish Blind & Disabled property. It currently has four situated in north-west London and Hertfordshire, and three in north-east London. Wands may be in short supply, but that doesn’t stop magic from happening.

Above: A specially-modified bathroom. Right: Tenants don’t give up on their independence

longer safely stay in their home or dealing with the shock of a disability as the result of an accident. These are facts of life for so many people. Initially, they often do not know where to turn, but then a family member, friend or social worker mentions Jewish Blind & Disabled. The charity’s unique mobility apartments provide a real home, in every sense, to someone who, up until the time they move in, is struggling to manage in their present accommodation. A specially adapted apartment can literally transform their lives. Many people are isolated because of their

Jewish Blind & Disabled is an independent charity that receives no government funding. For further information, call 020 8371 6611

Kathryn is just one of the trained advisers who will give you the help you need

We all need a little help sometimes, and that’s where Jewish Care’s Helpline is your first port of call. Our expert trained advisers answer 15,000 enquiries every year. So whatever you need, we can help you find it – in complete confidence. We can tell you about our services: community centres, independent living, support for people living with dementia, support with bereavement, befriending, meals on wheels and family support groups. And if we can’t help you ourselves, we’ll help you find someone who can. So if you need advice with a human face, please remember Jewish Care.

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Charity / Respite care

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS Jewish Care can help to make everyone’s summer a breeze

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hen a Times journalist paid a recent visit to Hyman Fine House in Brighton she was surprised by what she saw. The opening of Alice Thomson’s article about this Jewish Care residential home read like an advert for a quirky, homely, beach side resort: “There are chickens in the garden, a cat’s bowl at the entrance and a list of the day’s activities that includes keep fit classes, choir and cooking. The home is two minutes from Brighton beach…” For many of the those who stay at Hyman Fine, it is now their home. For others, it is a place they come for a short break, often when family or carers need a holiday themselves. Bobby’s family are currently on holiday so,

not for the first time, she is having a respite stay at Hyman Fine. “It is really lovely here; the staff are so helpful, kind and patient. I am getting on for 96, but still fairly independent,” says Bobby. “I am enjoying spending time in the lovely garden at Hyman Fine, talking to other residents. I have played Scrabble and bingo, but not yet managed a game of bridge. I am still going regularly to the local community centre where I take part in exercise classes. I am collected by bus from the home.” Bobby believes that being at Hyman Fine puts her daughter’s mind at rest. “She’s on holiday in America. I speak to her every day and she is having a lovely time. I wouldn’t want anything to happen to me that would

mean they would have to rush back and spoil her holiday. I have told her not to worry about me – I am being well looked after.” Short-term care isn’t easy to find, but, for some, a stay in this home could provide the solution for carers in need of some rest and relaxation. “A respite or short stay in Hyman Fine is not only a chance for carers to have a break while feeling confident that their loved one or friend is being well looked after, but it’s also a time for the older person to have some time in a different environment, a change of scenery, a holiday of their own,” commented Jewish Care director Neil Taylor. Hyman Fine House is known for its creative activities provided by a range of local artists from photographers and painters to musicians. The home has several lounges where residents can socialise and there is a computer in the lounge where they can use Skype to stay in touch with family and friends. There are weekly services for Shabbat in the home’s purpose-built synagogue and a varied menu of kosher food on offer three times a day. With a “good” CQC rating, the home provides personal, nursing and dementia care. The fully-trained staff are supported by a team of dedicated volunteers who together create a hamishe atmosphere with a broad range of activities on offer. For those who don’t want to take part in the communal life in the home the comfort-

able en -suite rooms equipped with TVs are a quiet private space in which to relax with the knowledge that help is at hand should it be needed. Neil Taylor is fully aware of the guilt many carers feel when planning their own holiday; “We often find people who come to us looking at respite tell us they feel guilty for putting mum or dad in a home while they go on holiday but once they experience the benefits, they often come back.” While, at this time of year, many of the homes’ short stay residents are there because of holidays, it’s not the only reason why people comes for a few weeks or months. For some, short stays can be a stepping stone out of hospital, an opportunity to be cared for and recuperate in a supportive, Jewish community home. Some people come for only a week or two; others could be there for longer until they are strong enough to go back to their independent living. The home’s doors are open to those who want to look around and see for themselves. Just like Alice from The Times, you may well be pleasantly surprised by what you see in this beachside Jewish Care home. • To arrange a visit to talk to someone about short stays in Jewish Care residential homes, contact Jewish Care’s helpline on 020 8922 2222 or email helpline@jcare.org

Visitors to Hyman Fine House in Brighton are impressed by the surroundings and activities


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Helping you back to work / Charity

LET’S GO TO WORK Resource has helped 10,000 people back into employment. That’s reason to celebrate, writes Naomi Frankel Unemployment is a tough thing to deal with on your own, particularly when you are experiencing it for the first time – hence the founding of Jewish charity Resource, which guides people back into the world of work as smoothly as possible. Resource offers free specialist advice and support to anyone over the age of 18, including those made redundant, seeking a career change, or returning to work. “The founders of Resource realised how much help was needed with basic job search skills following the recession,” says chief executive Victoria Sterman ahead of the charity’s 25th anniversary after helping 10,000 clients get back into employment. Each client receives on average 37 hours of support. This equates to around £2,200 per person and would cost £888,000 to deliver as a commercial organisation per year. Resource provides this totally free. “Every year, we help around 400 individuals, and more than 60 percent of them find a job within six months,” enthuses Victoria. “It’s a really great achievement,

but of course this is a reflection on the enormous amount of hours and effort our incredible team of volunteers put in.” Resource’s team of more than 50 professional human resource and business experts provide one-to-one practical and effective advice to help clients find their feet in today’s job market. Lesley Trenner, a qualified career/life coach has been an advisor for Resource for almost four years and is also a columnist in Jewish News’ ‘Ask the Expert’. “The role of an advisor,” says Lesley, is “not just to give advice but to listen properly as each person’s situation is unique”. She considers it “a privilege” to work for Resource. “I feel like I’m truly giving back to the community by helping people get on with their lives with a sense of pride, purpose and direction,” she explains. Resource offers a personalised service with advisors staying in touch with clients for encouragement between appointments and afterwards.

“As an organisation, we really care. If we haven’t heard from someone in a couple of months, then we will follow up with an email to see how they’re doing. When you know you have someone checking in with you it helps drive and commitment.” Commitment is the number one key to finding work, according to Lesley, who understands “unfortunately this can be a full-time job in itself”. As well as dedicated one-to one support, which includes mock interview practice and networking skills, Resource provides a wealth of seminars and training on useful topics. Also offered is IT training and psychometric profiling. Alex Newman and her husband Michael ended up finding each other while seeking a career through Resource, meeting at a seminar in 1997. Michael explains: “We were the only recent graduates and with much else in common, quickly gravitated towards each other.”

Michael is now the chief executive of The Association of Jewish Refugees, while Alex is a journalist. “I found it particularly reassuring to have experts guide me through my job search, especially the application and interview processes,” says Alex. “The specific help I needed came from the several workshops and networking sessions I attended,” adds Michael. In September, Resource is holding a massive event at Facebook headquarters in London. Entitled ‘How to stand out in the jobs market’, it includes a range of workshops and drop-in clinics. Victoria shares some valuable insight as to why Resource continues to be such an integral service for the community. “As Jews, we’re good at celebrating simchas and successes. On the other hand, when a spouse is made redundant, we are ashamed for people to know. That stigma has not changed in 25 years, but Resource always understands.” • resource-centre.org


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AJEX CONTINUES TO PROVIDE WELFARE SUPPORT FOR EX SERVICE PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDANTS


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Down on the farm / Charity

LIFE IS SWEET

Naomi Frankel visits a suburban farm that nurtures and cares

Cultivating confidence is the motto behind SweetTree Farming For All – a care farm in Mill Hill that focuses on a lot more than animals and agriculture. SweetTree Home Care Services and Farming For All came together in 2013, combining the vast care farming experience of the latter with the award-winning care and transitional living focus of the former to create a not for profit organisation. “The remit is to help support people with health and social care needs, namely those who are experiencing social and educational exclusion,” explains Jude Allen, director and principal trainer of SweetTree Farming For All (STFFA). “We see everybody here – the elderly with dementia, students with special educational needs, young adults referred to us by social services with learning disabilities or mental health issues. The idea is for people to come and for us to deliver services that support them, working closely with their specific plan.” As we walk around the sprawling 14-acre farm and woodland, SweetTree founder Barry Sweetbaum tells me how this initiative encourages and enables participants to positively engage in the great outdoors through farming, horticulture and other outdoor activities. “It has been proven that getting outside does wonders for well-being,” he says. “People who come here describe it as a haven.” Indeed, the farm paints a peaceful picture in the morning sun, with lush greenery, red roses and the sounds of contented animals. One client is helping with the sheep herding along with a project worker. She laughs as they follow her across the field. “Activities at SweetTree Farming for All courses are tailor-made according to what that person is looking to achieve,” Barry explains. “There is a regular routine structure for the day, but people also have their own choices. The farm is used as a vehicle to help reach personal goals. Everything we do is

embedded with transferrable skills for life; communication, literacy, numeracy and teamwork.” Jude adds: “For example, sheep herding would be working to build up teamwork and communication skills. Instead of us saying, ‘Right we’re going to get the sheep in, this is how you do it’, we safely encourage them to plan and learn from trial and error.” As we approach the donkeys, Barry explains: “Keeping our vulnerable clientele in mind, we only keep gentle, non-aggressive breeds. “Animals are non-judgmental of disability, addiction or background, so people feel safe, valued and respected.” It is clear the utmost care has been put into the design of STFFA to ensure specific support for those who come, from picture labels on drawers to helpful signs dotted around. Jude shows me how the rabbit hutches, which used to be on the floor, are now raised up, especially for one client with cerebral palsy who struggles with bending down. “He calls them ‘my rabbits’, that’s how meaningful coming here has become for him.” SweetTree’s emphasis is on slowly reducing support so self-confidence is built along with the ability to interact with the world at large. “Here is our safe FlexiFarm space,” Barry says, waving his arm around a carefully divided patch of land. “It is designed to help those with social problems, such as autism, who find transition difficult.” Barry demonstrates how the large entry gate is left open for a client in a car outside, then slowly closed as that individual becomes more comfortable in their surroundings. “There are clear physical barriers, such as thick screening so the sheep are just seen, reducing anxiety. In the next area, the space is more exposed to the environment and more people can slowly be introduced, or a single animal in some cases.” My tour gives me an insight into the fun, educational times to be had at SweetTree Fields Farm. I meet goats, chickens, view a space with giant outdoor musical instruments,

a wildflower meadow, a yurt learning space and a woodland assault course. “We also host structured school, Forest School, and summer holiday programs for young people of all abilities,” says Barry. Volunteer Jodie is watering one of the allotments. She says: “Clients also have the option of gardening, potting plants, sorting chicken eggs to be sold or making lunch for everyone using our fresh produce. Everybody loves working here, myself included.” Visit Sweettreefarming forall.org.uk, or call 020 7644 9505

OUR TANDEM RIDERS KNOW THAT TOGETHER, THEY CAN ACHIEVE ANYTHING. Achieve something incredible. Take on a Norwood Challenge and help transform the lives of thousands of vulnerable children and their families, and young people and adults with learning disabilities and autism. SIGN UP TODAY at norwood.org.uk/challenges

challenges@norwood.org.uk norwood.org.uk/challenges 020 8261 7644


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Charity / Calling volunteers

THE HELPFUL

HEARTBEAT

As the Jewish Volunteering Network celebrates its 10th anniversary, putting the right people with the right charities remains the key MAKING IT EASY for people to give their time in a meaningful and fulfilling way was the catalyst for launching the Jewish Volunteering Network (JVN). Enabling charities to recruit those individuals with the skills and experience was also its aim and as JVN now celebrates its 10th anniversary, it knows the impetus was right. The charity has gone from strength to strength and become one of the leading faith-based voluntary organisations in the UK. In conjunction with turning 10, JVN has been awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service - the equivalent of an MBE and the highest honour charities can receive as it is given to voluntary organisations deemed to be outstanding in their field. JVN is the first London-based Jewish charity to receive it. “It represents our desire to provide the opportunity for everyone to give back, regardless of their age or ability,” says director Leonie Lewis. “Our core mission is to connect volunteers to volunteering opportunities. Just as with a professional job, volunteers are more productive if they are motivated by a role that is interesting to them and suited to their skill set. “Our website is a portal to volunteering

opportunities that match the skills, interests and availability of a volunteer to the right charity and their beneficiaries.” For those struggling with the internet or finding it hard to find a suitable role, a oneto-one surgery session is also available with a member of JVN’s staff. The desire for giving back to the community in recent years has led JVN to expand its core services. It is at the forefront of maintaining standards within the charity sector, advising and training charity professionals and trustees in how to uphold good practice in management and charity governance respectively. To meet new demands, multiple programmess have been created: the Supported

Volunteering Project provides mentors to assist those with extra support needs to volunteer; and the Bnei Mitzvah Programme develops accessible, youth and familyfriendly opportunities to volunteer for 11 to 14s. JVN recruits and manages volunteers from its Ad Hoc Volunteering Squad for some of the community’s most high-profile events – it was recently a partner for the Maccabi GB Community Fun Run and will soon be assisting with Shabbat UK and the Jewish Child’s Day Chanukah party. Specific family-oriented seasonal opportunities at home and in Israel are also made available around key times such as Pesach, the summer holidays and the winter festive period. And JVN will soon be formally celebrating its 10th anniversary with a gala dinner in September and recognising outstanding volunteers with the annual Wohl JVN Volunteering Awards ceremony. “Increasing pressure is now put on charities

and community organisations to provide for society’s most vulnerable groups,” continues Lewis. “The role of JVN will therefore become ever more important as it continues to engage volunteers who are prepared to commit to uphold these vital services. “Charities are seen as the pillar on which a community stands, and this is why we like to think of JVN as the heartbeat that breathes life into the charity sector and helps people see the true value of giving their time.” If you want to volunteer or work for a charity that could use JVN’s help, visit jvn.org.uk, email getinvolved @jvn.org.uk or call 020 8203 6427

OPEN DAY

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6 July 2017 Jewish News

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Mental illness affects 1 in 4 people: men and women of all ages, from all walks of life and without prejudice. Jami is the Jewish community’s mental health service and understands that everyone’s experience of mental illness is different. We focus on recovery, supporting people across the Jewish community, rather than just labelling them. Through education we also build awareness, increase understanding and put an end to stigma and discrimination. Give support • Get support • Get involved

Visit jamiuk.org | Telephone 020 8458 2223 | Email info@jamiuk.org @JamiPeople | JAMIMentalHealth Registered Charity 1003345. A Company Limited by Guarantee 2618170.

THE NER ORRE COMMUNITY CENTRE

Opened in 2013, the Ner Orre Community Centre at Mill Hill Synagogue is suitable for all kinds of events. The Annie & Samuel Levy Hall can host up to 550 guests either seated theatre style or as a standing reception, 400 for a seated dinner, or 280 guests seated with a dance floor.

It was a great evening. The hall looked wonderful and was the perfect venue for our Simcha.

· · · ·

Saturday night hire £2,950

For the second time the team and space at Mill Hill shul did not disappoint… the room speaks for itself.

Weekday hire from £150 per hour

Hayley

Air conditioned Fully sprung dance floor In-built sound & vision KLBD Kitchen

Sunday hire £3,800

Jeff

(Engagement party, June 2017)

(Myisraelcharity, April 2017)

For more information please contact Gerry on t. 020 8959 1137 #3 e. info@nerorre.co.uk w. www.nerorre.co.uk

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How to stand out in the jobs market Facebook HQ London 12 September, 5pm - 9pm Tickets £5

Resource’s top tips on how to get a job • Interview skills Social media for job search • CV review drop-in clinics How to network effectively in your job search Make your application forms stand out

Pre-register for your place at www.resource-centre.org/standoutinjobsmarket Registered in England Number 5211299 Charity Registration Number 1106331

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#shopandgive/ Charity

WHO WILL BUY? Deborah Cicurel can’t pass a charity shop without checking out the specials and #sharing..…

#lotsastuff@allaboard

#allaboardtableware #woohoo

27 likes 5 comments 10 repins

15 likes 2 comments 4 repins

#herecomessummer #mynewhat

#allaboard4winter #mywinterwardrobe

32 likes 9 comments 15 repins

28 likes 5comments 11 repins

ANYONE WHO’S EVER bought a coffee table will know how expensive it is to cover it with the required pile of coffee table books. Like the look of that fashion, motoring, travel or interiors book? Chances are that even purchased online it will still cost you upwards of £40. Yet I managed to get the latest addition to my new table - an enormous, fascinating tome entitled ’501 Must-Visit Cities’ - for the princely sum of £5. How, you may ask? Well, I don’t normally spill my saving secrets, but today I’ll let you in on it: I just popped into All Aboard. If you don’t normally shop in charity shops, you’re missing a trick. Where else can you pick up expensive crockery, designer handbags, pricey shoes and, in my case, hefty books, for a fraction of the sum they’d usually cost? With the money you spend in All Aboard going to over 60 registered charities, splurging – or indeed saving – on clothes, shoes, books, plates and handbags has never felt so generous. I’ve long been a convert of shopping in charity shops: I’ve picked up delicate cashmere scarves for a fiver, designer dresses for less than £10 and quaint little ornaments that I always

get compliments on. While it’s sometimes surprising that people would give these treasures away, I’m more than happy to snap them up and donate to charity in the process. All Aboard has several shops in London, each with their own special treasures, but on the day I visited the West End Lane branch, there was plenty to browse: a whole box of men’s T-shirts for just a pound each, a rack of extremely well-priced, new-looking high heels, a shelf of cuddly scarves perfect for winter, and a whole cupboard full of books, from brand new fiction bestsellers to wellthumbed cookery books. As I walked to the counter with my new tome, I also couldn’t resist getting a very fashionable floppy hat. It’s 2017’s Instagram must-have, didn’t you know? (Plus, it was only £3, less than a tenth of what it would have cost in Topshop.) Best of all, I thought as I stretched out that evening with my book, I didn’t even feel the usual guilt of spending money for pleasure. All the cash I handed over went straight to charity. Now, time to plan my next city break…

We’ll take the weight off your shoulders When there’s nowhere else to turn, Paperweight can help you take control of your financial, legal and administrative affairs. 020 8455 4996 www.paperweighttrust.com

#savedbyallaboard #beachreading #novel

#duneshoes@allaboard #shoesday

20 likes 4 comments 10 repins

22 likes 6 comments 9 repins

Charity Registration No. 1146302


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Charity / Dracula challenge

GOING FOR SILVER For the past 25 years, Norwood has been raising funds through international challenges. And now it’s off again Trekking across Dracula’s back garden might not be an obvious choice for a summer event, but that hasn’t stopped Norwood from setting its next international challenge in Transylvania. Armed, potentially with garlic and a stake, the brave souls taking part left last Sunday to follow in the illustrious steps of previous Norwood challengers who have conquered areas from Costa Rica in South America to Madagascar in Africa and along Asia’s Great Wall of China. It’s not just the spectacular settings that make these events remarkable. It’s also the feats of physical endurance, relationships forged along the way and, most importantly, the vast amounts of money raised to support Norwood’s wide array of services. Among other things, the cash raised through these international challenges contributes to the £1.2 million needed to run key support services in Norwood’s family centres. Norwood’s three family centres deal with an average of 230 cases in any one month, with the Kennedy Leigh Family Centre alone supporting more than 720 children and their parents across the same period.

Norwood’s sports services, recently shortlisted in the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards also benefit from money raised by the challenges. Nick Ivil accesses these services through the charity’s Ravenswood site, but he is also one of the most dedicated challengers Norwood has ever seen. Born with Down’s syndrome, Nick sees Norwood athletic fundraisers as a way to defy expectations and has done so riding tandem with fellow challengers all over the world. In October, Nick is heading to Israel for one of four special homecoming challenges to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the original Israeli charity cycle. It will be his sixth challenge and he gets the same buzz he did when he started. “I’ve been riding a bike since I was four and I love the challenge,” he says. “Cycling has changed my life; it changes people’s perception of me and gives me a lot of confidence. I’m training hard now, about four or five days a week. My ultimate goal is to get a six-pack. I haven’t managed it yet, but I’m getting there!” Nick’s presence at these now legendary

events illustrates one of the rich traditions that make Norwood challenges so special and inspiring. The idea of cycling tours to Israel was first mooted a couple of years before the eventual launch date of 1992 by Classic Tours founder Sir Erich Reich. Unfortunately, the outbreak of the first Iraq War and the instability that brought to the region badly affected his plans. However, Eric’s contact, Maurice Collins, happened to be a trustee of Ravenswood, which led to the idea of the rides being revived. Phillip Green, then chairman of Ravenswood, another person integral to getting the challenges off the ground, championed the idea and drafted in Gordon Fox to help. Fox recalls one of the most spectacular experiences of the early days. “In 1995, we first ventured into Jordan for our inaugural Road to Petra challenge. At that time, the borders between the two countries were not anywhere near as safe or porous as they are today, so for us to go from one to the other really was pioneering,” he explains. “We had a stroke of luck when I noticed one of the people who had signed up for the ride was the son of Lord Mishcon. I went to visit the

son at his home and soon discovered they were both very friendly with King Hussein of Jordan, which of course helped us immensely. “One thing led to another and I ended up being received by the Jordanian royal family in the grounds of their palace. They agreed to open the Allenby Bridge, the crossing from Israel to Jordan, for our party to cycle over. Even more excitingly, they agreed to receive our party at the royal grounds in Aqaba. Our whole group had what you’d call a very nice party with a delegation including one of the king’s cousins.” From royal receptions to raising huge amounts of money for the people the charity supports and creating friendships that last a lifetime, Norwood challenges have had an incredible 25 years. As this year’s programme demonstrates, the charity is building towards another quarter of a century of exceptional experiences. From the teams behind the scenes who make it happen to the challengers who test themselves to the limit, everyone is committed to ensuring Norwood challenges have a long and prosperous future. Visit: norwood.org.uk


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North London’s Jewish ‘hidden gem’ care home

Finding a care home for yourself or a loved one can be daunting, so it’s reassuring to note that at Edinburgh House we offer a wonderful ‘home from home’ experience for all our residents. Situated in North London, with excellent transport links, Edinburgh House is a purpose-built, independent residential home providing general and specialised dementia care on both a short and long term basis. With exceptionally high levels of care provided in a nurturing Jewish environment, great facilities on offer and competitive fees, we may just be the ideal care option you’ve possibly never heard of.

For an initial chat or to arrange a visit to experience the warmth of our home first-hand, call Paula, or a member of our welcome team on 020 8908 4151 or email enquiries@edinburghhouse.org.uk REGISTERED WITH UK CHARITY COMMISSION NO. 230822

SweetTree Provide the Highest Quality Care and Support at Home At SweetTree Home Care Services we believe in the true meaning of the word care - We care about building genuine relationships, nurturing respect and ensuring that freedom of choice, individuality and dignity remain firmly in the hands of the people we care for. We have a full range of live-in or live-out support services to assist with both basic and complex care needs including; general and post-operative, dementia, learning disabilities, acquired brain injuries, neurological conditions and end-of-life care. Please contact a member the SweetTree team for a service brochure, advice or to book a free care assessment.

020 7624 9944 | info@sweettree.co.uk | www.sweettree.co.uk

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Charity / Home comforts

BLUEBIRD OF HAPPINESS For those who cherish the joys of staying at home, there is an organisation that is big enough to cope and small enough to care WHEN THE COST of keeping an elderly relative in the average care home for a year equates to the cost of sending a child to a top private school, it makes sense to look for another option. More importantly the anxiety of leaving one’s home late in life is something we all want to avoid whenever possible and that’s where Bluebird Care Barnet comes in. Run by Larry Berkowitz, Bluebird Care Barnet is dedicated to providing high quality homecare services at a fixed cost that is much lower than residential care and can be tailored to fit peoples’ individual needs and budgets. Their customers vary in choices from companion care and those who are recovering from injuries and operations to clients with a range of health care issues. These include dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, motor neuron disease, cancer and other lifeshortening illnesses that fall under the heading of palliative care. “When it comes to peoples’ care requirements, the answer is to be simple and flexible,”

‫בס”ד‬

says Larry. “We can offer care provision in any multiple of minutes, full-day cover, overnight support and 24hr Live in Care. Visits can be as occasional as fortnightly, perhaps for shopping or light housework, or as frequent as several times a day, for those with more acute needs. “ There is also a temporary care service to help with cover for a regular private carer or family member who is taking a holiday. “Live-in care is a highly specialised aspect of our work,and we offer a phenomenal platinum service,” adds Larry. “It is also more affordable than one might think – starting at just £784 per week.” Structured around a customer’s existing local support network of friends, relatives, neighbours, charities and other voluntary organisations, Bluebird Care Barnet enables its customers to have what we all ultimately want – to remain safe and secure without ever leaving home . Bluebirdcare.co.uk/Barnet 020 3011 0996

STEP IT UP

You never know who has a crisis going on behind their front door. Crises can hit anyone. People with families just like yours. We have built up a team of therapists, family support workers, advocates and legal advisors to help families in crisis. We help with: post-natal depression • messy divorces child protection • police involvement • social services liason • school exclusion • single parenthood • and more.

I told the family I was dealing with: ‘if you really want someone who can help you, go to the London Jewish Family Centre’ IRO; Barnet Family

Support

Family Support Services at the London Jewish Family Centre 113b Golders Green Road, London, NW11 8HR tel 0208 209 1117 | familysupport@ljfc.com | www.ljfc.com registered charity number 1162132

London Jewish Family Centre

Family Support Services is a division of the London Jewish Family Centre.

� The Centre at the Heart of the Community �

For our other programmes and activities visit our website or call the Centre to request a programme.

IF YOU GO DOWN to the Stamford Hill today, you’re sure of a big surprise, writes Debbie Collins. There may even be a picnic, organised by ‘Step by Step’, an organisation doing wonderful things in the community for disabled kids. Step by Step was set up in 1996 by mothers of disabled children who saw a lack of exciting opportunities for their offspring. A weekly swimming slot at local Clissold Bath was secured, swiftly followed by a regular horse riding group. The charity also focuses heavily on giving parents and carers regular much-needed respite to enable them to continue taking the best possible care of their child and have time with other offspring. Until Step by Step came along, many parents had considered state care for their child, so these regular bursts of respite, even for just a couple of hours a day, enables them to be regular parents to their other kids. However Step by Step are not a ‘babysitting service’. “It was never a kids’ crèche but a safe, tailored environment for disabled children in the Jewish community of Stamford Hill,” says Development manager Cassie Daniels. “To learn new skills and experience a whole range of activities, whilst building confidence.”

Enquiries often come in from further afield. “We take calls from parents looking for what we provide in Stamford Hill. If they can’t make it to one of our locally-run activities, we have a great network of contacts and will always try to put them in touch with people in their area.” On top of weekly sessions, there are day trips, half term programmes and residential camps with fully-trained staff on a 1:1 ratio. For weekly activities, swimming is still extremely popular as well as cycling, ice-skating and also horse riding, where kids can enjoy one-to-one lessons and hands-on experience grooming their favourite horse. Step by Step relies on funding through local authority packages and grants and while some families have the means to pay for their child’s sessions, the charity never turn away anyone unable to self-fund sessions. The charity have also taken over a five-year lease on a centre allowing for after-school ‘stay and play’ sessions and motzei Shabbas activities. There is no eruv in Stamford Hill, so the fact that these facilities are on the doorstep truly is a blessing. Visit stepbystepkids.org.uk or call 020 8802 2362


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Home is where the care is Home & live in care from Bluebird Care

We provide home care from 45 minute visits to 24 hour live in care. Find out more about our home & live in care and the difference it could make to your life. Email the bluebird care team barnet@bluebirdcare.co.uk or call us on 020301 10996

bluebirdcare.co.uk/barnet

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Charity / Old and young

A BETTER WAY OF LIVING There is a care home where children play and residents age with dignity and purpose THE GOOD NEWS is that we are living longer than ever before and over the next five years there will be a million more people over the age of 75. Some will have complex needs as they age and Nightingale Hammerson believe it is never too early to familiarise oneself with their range of available residential care options. The average age of entry into Nightingale Hammerson homes is 92 and 10 percent of the residents are over the age of 100, so they have lived a bit and now require the kind of excep-

tional care which allows them to live out their years with dignity and purpose. Key to this is removing the stigma attached to residential care and Nightingale Hammerson is set to do so with a unique intergenerational initiative. From September they will be launching the UK’s first care home site-based nursery on the grounds of Nightingale House in Clapham. Though children from the Apples and Honey Jewish nursery in Wimbledon have been visiting residents at the home for some time, in the autumn there a second nursery is opening on the actual site. The school’s principal Judith IshHorowitz came up with the idea which led to them takingover a bungalow previously used as a maintenance store. Plans for the new Nightingale Hammerson home on Bishops Avenue When Apples and

Apples and Honey Nightingale will be the UK’s first care home site-based nursery

Honey Nightingale opens, 16 new residents from Hammerson House in North London will also get to meet the pupils as they are being temporarily rehoused there while the Bishop’s Avenue property is redeveloped. The extensive overhaul of facilities will offer substantial improvements to the level of care, while increasing capacity from 85 to 116. The new Hammerson House will cement Nightingale Hammerson’s reputation for high quality person-centred care, using innovative

technology and creative therapies to ensure residents are able to live life to the fullest. Over the summer those who want to know more about the changes can visit the existing building and hear about the plans ahead of its reopening in 2020/21. Visitors will get a tour of the activities and innovative therapies on offer in the Wohl Unit and Gerald Lipton Centre at Nightingale House. • Visit: nightingalehammerson.org

Transforming Tragedy

Together

Our promise is to stand by those left behind Support the widows and orphans of Israel’s fallen soldiers and bring them light and hope once again Tax deductible donations, with Gift Aid made at www.idfwo.org/donate IDF Widows & Orphans Organisation is the sole charity recognised by the State of Israel that represents the widows and orphans of Israel’s fallen soldiers.

IDFWO, registered charity no. 580202166 office@idfwo.org www.idfwo.org/eng +972-3-6918403


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SEARCH AND RESCUE

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Jewish News 6 July 2017

Charity / Things you need

SHOPPING FOR

INDEPENDENCE

Imagine a store that can revolutionise your life… IT ISN’T UNTIL you need the services of the Fortuna Mobility Centre that you appreciate how important it is. You might also be surprised at just how all encompassing North London’s largest mobility shop and training centre is because the products they have on offer are for anyone with restricted movement or lives with pain. For wheelchairs, mobility scooters and stair-lifts they are the first port of call whether you are buying or hiring, but they offer a range of mobility aids with solutions to suit every conceivable situation. Enabling their customers to retain

independence is key to Fortuna’s success and though they admit they cannot perform miracles, they have many things that can help someone to live more comfortably. Things as simple as cutlery, trays, kettle tippers, slippers, and grab rails which can make all the difference to a person who struggles to use every day items in their own home. High back chairs, care chairs, adjustable beds, walking aids-rollators, frames, sticks and canes are all available at the Enfield showroom. There are also items you may not have heard about such as the Paingone Pen. This

portable, fast-working pain relief product delivers a controlled electronic frequency to the source of your pain, stimulating the area and providing often instant pain relief that is natural and drug-free. Fortuna stock an extensive range of orthopedic shoes for men and women who have swollen or sensitive feet and need an extra bit of room. Their orthopedic shoes can also help to reduce falls, by giving extra stability as you move around. You may need a solution for chronic back pain, or a bit of extra support to see you through a period of inactivity and for that the smallest things can make a big difference. Fortuna’s back support equipment is designed to make a big difference through relieving pain and working to prevent symptoms from getting any worse. Take the Sero Pressure Cushions. These advanced back support solutions make use of integral air pockets that allow air to circulate. They disperse heat across your whole back, effectively melting your pain away, while the high profile foam is designed to eliminate numbness through relieving pressure points. Whether you need cups that reduce the risk of spillages or have extra handles to make them

easier to hold or cutlery that is easy to grip or tools for opening cans and jars – Fortuna has it. And if you cannot find the product you are looking for they can source and signpost you to a wide range of products and services from other companies they know and trust. With trained experienced staff who offer aftercare service and training backup, Fortuna’s reputation for looking after those who have restricted movement, are elderly or disabled is unbeatable. But you won’t know this until you need them. • Visit: fortunamobility.com or call 020 8344 4820

We’ll help you draw up plans for the future Since 1948, KKL has been trusted by the Jewish community to act in the planning and administration of hundreds of Wills and Estates. Our professional and caring experts will work with you to ensure that all of your assets and property end up where you want them to go in a tax efficient manner and in accordance with your wishes. If required, we can also act as your Executor. These services are free* when you leave a legacy to Israel through JNF. For a free no-obligation and confidential consultation with Carolyn – one of the highly qualified professionals within our team – please get in touch and we’ll come to you. Call 0800 358 3587 or email carolyn@kkl.org.uk

*Terms and conditions apply. KKL Executor and Trustee Company Ltd (a Company registered in England No. 453042), is a subsidiary of JNF Charitable Trust (Charity No. 225910) and a registered Trust Corporation (authorised capital £250,000).


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House proud/ Charity

…AND THE LIVING IS EASY Naomi Frankel meets an elderly residential care community with very happy home lives

I

t’s hard to tell the residents from the staff at Edinburgh House. I assumed the lady who greeted me at the door as I signed in and showed me the way was a manager, but she wasn’t. “Oh no,” says Chief Executive Paula Peake. “Doreen is our youngest resident and in her late 70s who suffers from significant dementia. Due to her lack of capacity for danger, she was constantly trying to leave the building but she stopped doing that once we put her in charge of meeting and greeting people.” Care homes are often regarded as soulless institutions, but a visit to Edinburgh House in Wembley proves this most certainly is not the case. Edinburgh House started life in 1747 as the Beth Holim in the Mile End Road, set up by the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish community of England for medical care of the community’s poor. “We were one of the UK’s first charities and the first hospital in Europe to offer affordable professional care combined with a Jewish way of life,” explains Paula. Becoming a Home for the Aged over 100 years ago, Edinburgh House relocated to Wembley in 1977 and currently accommodates 51 residents, from both Sephardi and Ashkenazi communities, with a Sephardi Kashrut license and dedicated shul on site. The small size of the home means the focus is very much on personalised support; ensuring residents enjoy proper care and comfort in a dignified, secure and happy environment. Paula tells me one way this is achieved is through “never using agency staff.” “In addition, unlike other care homes which generally see a high staff turnover, our team have been here forever, so each and every resident and their families are known and beloved to them.” German born Hilda, who will shortly be turning 105, is the oldest resident in the home

and is still sharp in appearance and mind. “Everyone I have ever known is gone,” she says. “I love Paula and the rest of the people here very much as they always have time for me.” Hilda opted to come to Edinburgh House after volunteering at the day centre for 50 years. “I loved it so much it was the only place I wanted to come to when I couldn’t be on my own anymore.” All rooms in Edinburgh House have glossy personalized signs outside, with the residents’photo and preferred name. “This isn’t for the carers but rather for the residents,” says Paula. “It helps them retain their independence even with memory loss.” Pinned up on walls around the home, the weekly activity board is rich and varied, offering discussion groups, music, craft sessions, a friendship club and entertainment. Paula tells me how Edinburgh House is also unique in that “we are the only care home to take a group of residents on an annual weeklong trip to the countryside.” We move onto the lounges, which are specialised according to dependence, with their own dining areas and tea making facilities. Light, calming colours, floral curtains and soft background music provide a homely atmosphere. The Little Poppy Lounge is for more able residents who require minimal assistance. Most are happily engrossed in their respective papers while one of the home’s many cats snoozes on a nearby chair. The Rose Lounge provides flexible care to those physically frail residents who require help with all daily living activities while the Jasmine and Poppy Lounge provide specialised care for people with severe dementia who may have more complex needs. I meet Harold, 93, with his wife Faye, who informs me that “she has dementia but as we’ve been married 65

years I can’t bear to be apart from her so I live minutes away, in Harris Court.” Situated at the back of the home and owned by Edinburgh House, Harris Court is a separate block of 15 sheltered flats, surrounded by a beautiful, lush Mediterranean style garden. I spot Harold and Faye later in the foyer, interacting with a “magic table” – a Dutch invention for those with dementia called ‘ToberTafel.’ Faye waves her hand over small flowers, which unfurl to become larger and larger, thanks to projection and infrared light. “There are lots of different programs,” comments Paula. “It helps those who aren’t cognitive and their loved ones focus on something else and enjoy their time together. “ Paula describes Edinburgh House as a “hidden gem in the community”. Despite its long-established heritage it is perhaps not as well known as some other Jewish residential homes. However its abundant warmth and excellent standards of care make it a place she says is “as truly special for relatives as it is for our residents.” • Visit: edinburghhouse.org.uk

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