On 17 December 2018 a wonderful group of Phoenix ladies paid the elderly at Penfold House Extra Care Centre a visit. This extra care housing scheme is a home to the elderly and is run by Notting Hill Trust, near Edgware Road.

A compassionate group of volunteers from Phoenix Staffing Team truly demonstrated love-in-action by visiting the elderly at Penfold House Extra Care Centre. During our time at the centre we were able to provide entertainment, from performances to sing-along sessions. The ladies were able to really engage and connect with the residents; collectively making Valentine’s Day cards, as well as serving tea, coffee, cake and biscuits.

We can often underestimate the importance of social interaction and take it for granted. We at Phoenix have taken on this important initiative to support the elderly community, simply because we care and to hopefully inspire others to get involved in any way that they can.

The centre hosts communal lounges, activity areas, 43 self-contained flats and a specialist dementia unit with eight bedsits. Often when we hear things like ‘dementia unit’ it can worry us that we don’t know enough to volunteer. However, the team’s service really highlighted to all those involved that you don’t need a wealth of experience in order to spread joy at one of these centres. All you need is ears to listen – from finding out how their day is going, to learning from a wealth of stories and experience they have to share.

What we want to highlight as a team is that all you need to help is a compassionate heart. The more you’re able to come along and volunteer, the more awareness we can raise. Your experience may even encourage you to visit centres closer to your community or to learn about charities such as, ‘how to become a dementia friend’ and Age UK.

Older people are especially vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation – and it can have a serious effect on their health. According to Age UK, more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 say that they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member. Some of the residents spoke of not having a visitor in months, which is why visits like this really matter! It’s important to remember loneliness can – and does – affect anyone, of any age.

Our mission runs way beyond the service we provide. We believe that we have a responsibility to encourage an attitude of service in everything we do.

Supporting and volunteering at Penfold House Extra Care Centre is something that will become a monthly initiative. The next visit will take place 17th March, St Paddy’s Day. Look forward to seeing you there!

The details of Penfold House Extra Care are as shown: Penfold Street, London, NW8 8PJ, Telephone 0203815219360

Phoenix Family