Care in the Community
Crowthorne Good Neighbours was established in 1972 by Churches Together in Crowthorne to help transport local elderly and infirm people to hospital and GP appointments. In addition, we also take people shopping and to visit relatives who are in care homes. There is no charge for the service although most people pay a donation to help cover the cost of the trip.
Crowthorne Good Neighbours operates out of Crowthorne Baptist Church every Monday to Friday between 10am and 12 noon, and can be contacted on 01344 761001.
New volunteer drivers are desperately needed to help with this vital work. As a volunteer driver, you can:
- volunteer a small amount of your time (just tell us your preferences)
- claim a mileage allowance
- decide where you want to go - local trips are just as important as those further afield.
Last year we took 160 people to 1207 appointments. These journeys were only possible because we have a group of volunteers willing to give up some of their time. Please consider if you may be able to give up some of your time to help a much-needed service. For more information call 01344 761001
Part of the St John's vision statement reads: "We partner with other organizations in order to meet the needs of our community through loving service." One such opportunity has arisen through the Bracknell Forest Befriending Scheme which aims to reach out to those in our community who feel isolated - simple regular human contact can make some people feel like their lives are worth living again. Perhaps God is nudging you be involved in this ministry? Read on....
Everyone needs other people, but not everyone has someone.
People can be isolated or feel alone for all sorts of reasons –health problems, people living alone having lost loved ones and with families living some distance away, be homebound or have other circumstances which make opportunities for developing friendship difficult. Sometimes people feel alone even when they are in regular contact with others.
Befriending is simply a supported friendship between two people, a volunteer befriender and a member of the local community who feels isolated or alone, and is the simple act of giving your time to someone who needs support and friendship. Someone they know is there for them without expecting payment or a return of favour.
This is also of benefit to a potential befriender, who might also be lonely and in need of company, but who is perhaps more active and able and can therefore help someone else less mobile than themselves.
We have all been befrienders at some time in our life on an informal level, eg keeping an eye on an elderly relative, popping in to see a lonely neighbour, etc.
This project aims to match volunteer befrienders with socially isolated people to provide both one to one contact and also encourage people, through increased confidence, to participate in community activities.
The scheme is run through Bracknell Forest Voluntary Action (BFVA) with a part time Befriending Coordinator, who will support volunteers through training, advice and guidance, and then match up befrienders with ‘clients’ which are referred through statutory agencies, churches, other groups or indeed through self referral.
The Crowthorne Old Age to Teen Society (COATS) Centre is run by our Manageress, Bernie Dunstone, with the help of her 5 colleagues. It is open from about 9 am to 4pm Monday to Friday. Coffee, tea, biscuits, and cakes are usually on offer, together with a freshly cooked two course lunch, and also some activity, such as Keep Fit, Dancing, Piano Recital or sing song, talks, etc., etc. We also have our own minibus, which currently operates Monday – Thursday. The charge is £4.80 per day, plus £2.00 return for the minibus.
Our objective is to provide a friendly, sociable place for the elderly of Crowthorne and its environs to enjoy. We do not cater for people who suffer from dementia (unless very mildly), although another organisation (Demcare Ltd) uses a separate room within the Centre for dementia patients on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Like you, we rely almost entirely on volunteers (over 100) to keep our operation going: apart from Bernie and her 5 colleagues, all the bus drivers and helpers in the Centre are volunteers, and the Charity Shop in the High Street is operated 100% by volunteers, providing the essential funding for the operation of the Centre: last year this amounted to over £1,300 net per week!
Bernie Dunstone’s telephone number is 01344 773464, and she is always delighted to help in any way.
Crowthorne Foodbank has been running very well with a lot of food coming in, and lots of food going out!
If you would like to make any donations, you may either drop it at the Food Bank (at the Vineyard Church centre, 25 Wellngton Park, Dukes Ride, Crwothorne, RG45 6LS) on Mondays and Thursdays from 12.00 - 2.00 p.m. or leave it in the Church foyer. You can contact the Foodbank on 01344 780087.
Crowthorne foodbank is open on Mondays and Thursdays - 12noon-2pm from Monday 10 December 2012.
How the foodbank works
Food is donated by the local people (see our food list below). Volunteers sort and pack the food into foodpacks. Each foodpack contains enough food for 3 days. We partner with front-line care professionals, who identify people in crisis and give them a voucher. On taking their voucher to the Foodbank centre, people receive a warm welcome, a hot drink and a foodpack. They also put people in touch with agencies who can help resolve the underlying causes of the crisis.
St John’s will now support Crowthorne Foodbank in partnership with the Kerith Church. Food may be left in the Church foyer or taken to the Foodbank.
Current shortages - very low on: tinned meat and vegetables and tinned spaghetti, tinned fruit, custard, rice puddings, long-life milk, all toiletries, cleaning products i.e. anti bacterial spray, washing up liquid, loo rolls, bleach, toothbrushes – adults and children’s, deodorants – men’s and women’s.
The Pastoral Visiting Group Policy states that “A list of local agencies is supplied to visitors, who are encouraged to refer people on to the relevant organisation where appropriate.” Such agencies will include local organisations that support, often elderly, members of the community in simple and practical ways such as transport, meals and friendship. The current list is as follows:
Volunteers visit the lonely and isolated for a chat
Gemma Frewin 01344 304404
The Columbia Centre, Market Street, Town Centre, Bracknell 0844 499 4107
26-28 Market Square, Wokingham 0844 499 4126
Elderly people meet for coffee and a chat in the homes of volunteers
Joan Newland 01344 775096
provides respite care to carers 0118 979 5324
Provides food to those in need.
The Vineyard Church. The Shed, 1 High Street, Crowthorne
Provides lifts to hospital appointments etc
Baptist Church 01344 761001
Drop-in sessions for families with children aged 0 – 5
Wokingham District equivalent of 1 above
|COATS runs The COATS Centre for Crowthorne's Seniors. The Centre provides good company, freshly cooked meals, activities and entertainment for older people living in and around Crowthorne. For more information contact The Manager, Mrs Bernie Dunstone 01344 773464|
You can find details of the services offered by the Citizens' Advice Bureau by clicking here.
The Crowthorne Office of the CAb opens from 10am until 12 noon on Fridays.
You can contact the Wokingham Bureau at:
Tel: 0844 499 4126
Fax: 0118 979 6194
PACT is running drop-in sessions on a Tuesday afternoon. These are open to all families with children aged 0-5 in the community and runs from 1-3pm. There is no charge. Activities range from story time, through to messy play.
Parents And Children Together
7 Southern Court, South Street, Reading, RG1 4QS
Tel 01189 387 600 www.pactcharity.org