At Pilgrims’ Friend Society we see the enormous impact volunteers have for our family members. We’d encourage you and your congregation to build links to a care home near you, sharing Christian love and the gospel message with older people in your community
We’ve created a useful step-by-step guide on how to get in touch with a care home near you and how you can support them.
1) Find your local care home – you can look in your local parish, visit online directory carehome.co.uk or try a simple Google search.
2) Reach out to their activities person or care manager. Ask what the opportunities or needs might be at the home.
3) Find out what different members of your congregation could bring in terms of skills and time e.g. pastoral, music, art, baking or simply their time.
4) Don’t underestimate the power of individuals going in to chat or pray with people, sit alongside them as they do an activity etc. Start small, it can grow from there (homes are keen for people to build relationships and to make a commitment).
5) Offer for a group to lead a service at the home.
6) Ask yourself ‘what can I offer?’ Maybe your car to drive residents to visit a church or to special events.
7) Make the most of special occasions (Christmas, Easter etc). Even if you can’t visit, could people from your church send gifts or cards. Send something for the staff too.
8) Pray for the care home. Volunteers could share names of individuals within prayer groups etc to pray for, or you could include the care home as part of the prayer rota so that it gets prayed for from the front.
Our Activities and Community Engagement (ACE) Facilitators work alongside churches to develop relationships and build upon or ministry to serve older people. Susan Schibli is our ACE Facilitator at Milward House, Tunbridge Wells. She shares her useful insights to help inspire you and your church as you reach out to your local home.
The impact and blessing your church volunteers can have:
“We had a group from one of our family member’s previous church come and lead a Sunday service which was really encouraging. It makes the connection warm and engaging if the person visiting has been a part of the church one of our family members previously attended – it brings back a familiarity, especially if the person has dementia."
The power of older Christians praying for you:
"Our family members are prayer warriors. We meet regularly to have devotions and pray together. It’s a great opportunity for them to pray for specifics taking place in the local community.”
“There are intergenerational benefits and opportunities. By coming into a care home, younger people gain knowledge from their elders and can enjoy being a blessing to others. When children from the Sunday school come to sing songs and say ‘hello’ to the family members it is just a great joy to see.”
Volunteering your time, prayer life, musical or artistic abilities that the Lord has blessed you with is a great way to help a care home. Chris volunteers at Milward House:
“Volunteering at Milward House is a great way of keeping the home up to date with news from St Paul’s Church. It’s a wonderful opportunity to share times of worship together.”
To find the nearest care home to you visit www.carehome.co.uk then enter your location.
If you live locally to one of our care homes and would like to volunteer, visit www.pilgrimsfriend.org.uk/volunteer and complete the form for the home closest to you, which will send your information straight to one of our ACE Facilitators.
For resources to support your ministry to your local care home, see: www.pilgrimsfriend.org.uk/churchresources-
Lord, please guide me to a care home where I can serve you. May I be able to share my passions and interests with others and bless them with my time and company.
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Volunteers play a vital role in supporting the life of our homes. Come and be a friendly face and brighten someone's day
We have a selection of resources that can be used with and to support older people