Abbott Lodge has established strong links with The Salvation Army Centre in Eccles with Majors John and Jane Biston following the initial meeting in November 2012. The ongoing work for Bridging the Gap has been supported by Alan Kershaw the Chaplain working at Abbott Lodge. We find that the on site presence provides a really good opportunity for Alan to work positively with residents and develop a good foundation as part of the transition into independence.
Support for Residents
Barclays Bank have made donations of food to Abbott Lodge which is used for food parcels and cooking demonstrations. Chaplain Alan Kershaw offers a befriending service to residents which is available three days a week. This service helps to tackle issues of isolation, build confidence and in some cases develop goals and aspirations as part of the support for residents.
Abbott Lodge offers a range of activities and events; these can include gardening, arts and crafts, healthy living, open days and barbeques which are well attended by residents. We find that Chaplain Alan’s one to one engagement with residents plays an important part in building confidence and tackling issues of low esteem which then provides the confidence for residents to take part in many of these events. The support groups and activities are also open to former residents to aid their resettlement.
Chaplain Alan Kershaw provides a support service for residents who are planning to move from Abbott Lodge. This package of support includes furniture, and household appliances and carpets. Alan also works closely with Rev Wyatt from the Pendleton Church who provides used furniture and other household items. The support links are available to former residents and in some cases have acted as an ongoing safety net for residents. The joint working with The Salvation Army centre in Eccles, Chaplain Alan Kershaw and Rev Wyatt provides a broad range of support for some of the most vulnerable people with the community.
Major John Biston has good links with a legal professional and is in the process of exploring whether residents could be offered free legal advice from Abbott Lodge. We are also working with Alan Kershaw to develop a DIY project based on furniture renovation project; this would provide opportunities for residents to develop new skills and training.