THE CHARITY for July, August and September 2020
CHARITY SUNDAY 12th JULY 2020
At the beginning of September 1957, my brother was diagnosed with polio and was confined to a local isolation hospital and an iron lung for 6 months. Following this and spells hospitals in Hendon, Croydon and Wandsworth our parents secured a place for him at the London Cheshire Home at Dulwich run by the Leonard Cheshire Foundation.
Athol House was home to residents with varying forms of physical disability, caused by diseases and illnesses such as polio, MS, muscular dystrophy and motor neurone disease as well as accidents.
It was home from home for all the residents and their lives were as happy as they could be. The care, medical, practical and emotional, given by the dedicated team of staff and a host of volunteers was second to none.
Here we are, 63 years later, and in Staplehurst where we have Sobell Lodge, which opened in 1995 as successor to Mote House in Maidstone. The first resident was Peggy Cronk who had also been at Mote House since 1961. More importantly, Sobell Lodge is providing the self same care as Athol House in 1957 plus all that the advantages of modern technology and mobility aids can bring; and the Leonard Cheshire Foundation is now Leonard Cheshire Disability.
Each individual chooses how they are supported, and they lead very active lives. With a focus on independence, health, well being and skills building, extensive activity programmes offer something for everyone. As well as staff, a team of committed volunteers support individual and group activities, so all have the chance to be social, get creative, or enjoy exercise. Over the years since 1995 residents have joined various clubs and organisations in the village. Currently, Linda attends WI and don’t forget that if we were in All Saints every Sunday, worshipping with you would be Ian, also a resident at Sobell Lodge. As their website says “Live here and you’ll be supported to be independent, healthy and active. There’s something for everyone and our great team of staff and volunteers run individual and group activities, including cookery classes and discussion groups.”
But crucially, it is still a charitable trust and really needs support. So I do urge you to give as generously as you possibly can to help Sobell Lodge, a truly local charity.
Thank you. Maureen
Charities and Social Responsibility Committee