It’s a bit like going home after a really full-on party, leaving Christian Resources Exhibition each year. The atmosphere is great and we’re busy the whole time! Our resources are geared to supporting seniors, and over the years we’ve met people who’ve come looking for help and advice and return each year to see what new materials we have – and to thank us for how useful they’ve been. We’re so glad for their encouragement! An example is Revd Valerie Pyper, who held up one of our books and said, ‘I read all of these and used them in my Thesis – and I got it!’
Over the years we’ve noticed a change in enquiries. A few years ago there were more questions about dementia from personal situations, but now they tend to come from a church or faith group perspective. This year our ‘Brain and Soul Boosting for Seniors’ workbook was popular, along with our new devotional resource for time with seniors called ‘Worshipping Together’.
It was great to see so many turn up for my talk in Seminar Room 1 on ‘Tackling Loneliness and Bringing the Kingdom of God into the Community.’ We looked at the three main causes of loneliness – social isolation, existential loneliness and bereavement, and Martin Graham, director of ‘Permission to Smile’ described how his work is setting up communities, street by street, with a ‘street leader’ from the local church. The seminar room was full, and I’ve promised a copy of my slide-pack to people who filled in the evaluation forms and gave their emails. If you’d like a copy, let me know.
A touch of sadness is that this is the last time that Janet and Peter Jacob will manage our PFS stand. We’ll miss them more than we can say! Not just for their Mary Poppins’ type talents, but for their knowledge and enthusiasm. But their work with their church in Barnsley has grown, so our loss is Barnsley’s gain – but they’ve said they’ll come and help out for a day or two here and there.
Also this year we saw a marvellous example of God-given talents at work with volunteers John and Janet Hammersley. Janet’s winning smile was a natural attraction, while John seemed to be a natural ‘harbour master’, courteously guiding passers-by to our stand in a way they simply could not resist. Peter and Janet, John and Janet were a marvellous team altogether!