What volunteers mean to us
Create a real Jewish family atmosphere for older people in supported sheltered housing
VOLUNTEERS are the key to life at Belmont Lodge, a supported sheltered house in Bushey, run along Progressive Jewish lines by Abbeyfield Camden Jewish Society. Through this housing and support, the society enables older Jewish people to lead happy, sociable and independent lives, alleviating the isolation that older people often suffer.
Belmont Lodge has 10 residential units of varying sizes, two of which are doubles, all with en-suite facilities, fridges and kitchen sinks. Caring, friendly and efficient professional staff look after the daily needs of the residents by providing them with two, kosher, home-cooked meals a day and supplying them with the ingredients to make breakfast in their own rooms. Laundry and cleaning is also provided. Friday nights and major Jewish festivals are observed communally, with local rabbis attending whenever possible. Relatives and friends are always welcome to visit.
Belmont Lodge is volunteer-led and a volunteer house committee arranges a varied programme of social activities and outings for the residents. Regular in-house activities include art and craft, keep fit, discussions, quizzes, musical entertainments and there are also outings to local concerts, garden centres and shows.
The house committee also oversees the management of the professional staff and organises other volunteers who perform the smaller tasks that make the lives of residents easier and more pleasant. It is through the efforts of volunteers, working with staff, that the welfare and health and safety of residents is monitored and supported.
The home does not provide personal or medical care, so if residents need the assistance of personal carers, this must be arranged for them from outside sources.“It is important to the society that its houses are noninstitutional, homely and sociable,” says a spokesperson.
“We believe we achieve this by being volunteer-led and that this is what sets Belmont Lodge and the society apart from many other residential home organisations.”
Volunteer involvement ensures that the residents have the chance to meet a wide range of people.
It also keeps the costs down, so charges are lower than those charged by many commercial residential homes.