Tea party bring almshouse residents together for first time since pandemic
It was time for a celebration as Sutton Coldfield residents enjoyed their first party since the lockdown.
Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust (SCCT) held a special tea party for residents of its 46 almshouses following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions this autumn.
Guests at the Residents’ Tea Party were treated to afternoon tea, coffee, cakes, sandwiches, and music. For some residents, it was their first opportunity to see one another in over 18 months, due to Covid-19.
The tea party was one of three separate events organised by Almshouse manager Pamela Johnston, with Almshouse wardens Marie and Michael. A number of trustees joined Pam at the events, alongside Tina Swani, Chief Executive of the trust, and trustee Ammo Singh.
Of the events, almshouse manager Pamela Johnston commented: “The residents have greatly missed our regular social gatherings during the past eighteen months, and it was a pleasure to organise the tea parties where they could meet and socialise in person whilst maintaining sensible protocols. I know that they thoroughly enjoyed the events.”
The event coincided with the 75th anniversary of The Almshouse Association, a support organisation representing over 1,600 independent almshouse charities across the UK.
While Covid-19 has seen management exercising extra caution to protect its residents over the festive season, Christmas hampers have also been arranged to spread some cheer among Almshouse residents.
With 2021 coming to an end, the trust will also be releasing its 2020/2021 annual review, highlighting its many achievements throughout the year. The review details the total grants awarded, which came to approximately £1.1m in 2021.
This includes over £73,000 in school uniform grants, with almost 50 per cent more local families in poverty receiving grants to buy school uniforms in 2021.
For many years, the trust has supported local residents in sheltered or retirement accommodation with a contribution towards their festive celebrations. This year, 21 groups were awarded grants totalling £14,171.
The trust remains committed to major ongoing expenditure to maintain and improve its almshouses and residents’ facilities, as well a wide range of communities throughout Sutton Coldfield.
With the release of their Social Needs Review coming in spring 2022, the trust will gain invaluable insight into Sutton Coldfield’s most vulnerable local communities, which will heavily influence their long-term strategic decisions and plans.
The trust recognises that the outcome of the Review will be of interest to the wider community and statutory agencies, and therefore aims to hold dissemination events from spring 2022.