Phil Martin is Chief Executive Officer of Keychange. He shares insights into what makes Christian care unique
The vision of Keychange is ‘to create caring communities which are safe, vibrant, inclusive and sustainable.’ The charity started in 1920 as the Christian Alliance for Women and Girls, so this year is our 100th anniversary. We run eleven care communities for older people and two homeless housing communities for younger people.
A key part of the care and support that we provide is that we encourage staff to behave in a way that fits with all our values. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 we read:
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
As a Christian charity, it is important that all our staff act and behave in line with what we believe and our ethos. Jesus provides the example of how we should act and behave in the care and support we provide; Jesus lived His life in a way that we should follow and imitate; Jesus showed compassion – he spent time with people who others in society avoided, he healed people, he ate and drank together with those who needed his love; Jesus demonstrated how all of us should relate to one another, to ‘Love your neighbour’.
As a tribute to our work, one relative said:
"Mum could not have been in a better place in her final days. The care and attention she received was over and above that which should have been ‘in the job description’. Without exception, everyone – managers, carers, admin, housekeeping and kitchen staff – has been incredible to Mum. Nothing was too much trouble and the standard of her care and comfort was exceptional. I cannot thank you enough."
Today a challenge many Christian care home providers face is to ensure our buildings and facilities are suitable and adaptable to meet the modern challenges of providing care and support. Many of our buildings are converted from other use and then added to over the years. Therefore, many Christian care providers are having to plan to rebuild or remodel our buildings to meet the more complex requirements of those who live in our care communities.
In your prayers today, we ask that you would:
- Thank God for His grace, mercy and faithfulness for the 100 years of Keychange mission
- Ask for wisdom for our leaders and Trustees to continue and grow our work to reach more older people
- Pray for Christian care home providers who are looking to update buildings – that they would be looking to God for His provision
At Pilgrims' Friend Society, we're started our Renewal Programme, building new homes and housing schemes where older people can thrive. Find out more about our new-build Middlefields House in Chippenham here