Working in a busy fundraising department, it’s important that we visit our fantastic Homes as often as possible. The Legacy and In Memory team aims to do this at least once or twice a year to meet with residents, take part in activities and see how legacy funds are being spent.
The team is responsible for the administration of legacies left by our supporters in their Wills, and donations made in memory of loved ones. We also look after supporters who have already pledged to us and help promote our free Will service. Gifts in Wills account for around 30% of our total income, so it’s great for us to go and see first-hand the impact these generous donations have on our residents.
We travelled up to High Wycombe from our offices in Hampton one grey Wednesday morning and upon arrival were met by Alysia, one of our Wellbeing Coordinators. She was leading the first group session of the day, Movement to Music and we were fortunate to join some of our residents – including Paul, Ross, and Roz – for a gentle exercise class set to some much-loved songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. Last year, we provided more than 5,000 one-to-one wellbeing sessions, 3,000 group sessions, and 280 outings. Sessions are specially designed to build social interaction amongst residents and to avoid promote movement and mobility. Gifts in Wills help our Homes to provide a wonderfully varied Wellbeing Programme for our residents, ensuring every day is different and each individual’s needs are met.
A competitive game of Bingo followed which led us nicely to lunchtime in the restaurant. Residents can choose from a menu of freshly prepared, nutritious meals with their tipple of choice – for some, a nice cup of tea and, for others, a daily can of Guinness with their meal.
The sun finally made an appearance after lunch, so we chose to opt out of the afternoon activities and instead end the day tending to some of the terrace planters with the help of residents, Pat and Jean. Keen gardeners and firm friends, Pat and Jean enjoy a bird’s eye view of the terrace from their respective bedroom windows.
The area needed a tidy up following the warm weather and rain we had experienced recently. Luckily Legacy Manager, Jackie, came armed with her gardening gloves and some home-grown plants. Guided by Pat and Jean, we were able to leave the area looking brighter and tidier with a new lease of life for the residents to enjoy.
It was a great opportunity to spend time with the residents and hear some of their stories. For Pat, originally from Somerset and whose husband served in the RAF, gardening has been a passion of hers for many years. Over the years Pat travelled extensively with her family, before settling in Buckinghamshire.
In-Memory Assistant, Anna, said: “It was such a privilege to enjoy an afternoon of sunshine and gardening with the residents. Personally, it was so inspiring to see how legacy and in-memory donations are used to make a real difference.”
Soon it was time to head back towards the office, not before we planted some tomato plants grown by Jackie (from seed!).
All our Homes benefit from beautifully landscaped accessible gardens, designed for residents and their guests to enjoy. Wheelchair-friendly nature trails, water features and plenty of seating is available for family visits and events.
To find out more about how Gifts in Wills can help, please contact the Legacy team at email@example.com