Brixham Does Care Is There For You

BEING OF CERTAIN VINTAGE, I am enduring an enforced period of self isolation during the current COVID-19 pandemic.   Until just a few weeks ago, I would normally be calling into the Brixham Does Care Café for a cuppa, meeting friends and fellow volunteers in the BDC Shop and chatting to the staff in the adjoining BDC Office.   I miss having a chat over a cuppa with those who attend the weekly Support Group and occasionally joining the regulars at the BDC Film Club.   Others regularly attended the Knit & Natter/Knit Together groups, Bingo, Scrabble or the Ladies Group.   Perhaps Colour & Chat, Bridge, The Lunch Club, Art or Craft groups. Sadly, all now closed, although the staff have moved up to the Friends Centre to man the ‘phone lines (01803 857727) offering support to those who need some.   My regular exercise would be taken each month leading the BDC Stragglers Walking Group on a 5 mile walk anywhere between Dartmoor in the north, Prawle Point in the south, Cawsands (Cornwall) in the west and Sandy Bay, east of Exmouth.   Every couple of months I would co-host Martyn & Josephine Song & Dance Parties (also held in the BDC Café) and usually, by now, I would be planning the next annual fund-raising variety show in aid of the same befriending charity.  My regular visits to entertain at the local Memory Cafes and Residential Care Homes, including Douglas House, together with the Gateway Club (Torbay), also have ceased for now, along with my attendance at church.

So, here I am at home, doing my best to comply with the Government’s requirements to combat this terrible virus.  We all know it makes sense and we owe it to one another to do the right thing.   Of course, I miss social interaction, but this temporary life style isn’t that bad.  Having been born soon after D-Day in 1944, I am too young to remember what life was like during World War 2.   However, I know that people lived in fear of being bombed in their own homes and had to be ready to seek refuge in Air Raid shelters when out on the street, or in Anderson/Morrison shelters when at home.   At least, during today’s crisis, we know that we are safe if we remain at home and can sleep soundly in our beds.   With access to home deliveries by local traders, neighbourhood groups and charity volunteers, we have no need to venture out for food or medications.  If we don’t have a garden to exercise in, we should stay well clear of other people as we walk around the block, and should avoid public transport unless we have to when attending medical appointments.   If you have contact numbers or email addresses of anyone in the usual groups you attend, keep in touch.   If not, Brixham Does Care is always there for you offering support and a friendly ear.  They have lists of local traders who deliver. 

If like me, you are fed up with singing “Happy Bithday” (twice) when constantly washing your hands, consider “Nellie the Elephant” (my wife’s favourite), “This little piggy went to market,” “We’ll meet again” or “The white cliffs of Dover.”    The last two also serve to remind us that this long ordeal will eventually come to an end.   We just don’t know when.   Follow your usual routine and keep busy.   Use the radio for company during the day, remembering to walk around every so often and save the telly for the evening.  Read a good book or play your CD collection.   In between helping with the housework, pottering in the garden, hedge trimming, painting the garden shed and fence, I’m busy creating another song list for the next time we can host another Song & Dance Party.   Watch this space!  

So let us all be of one mind.   Stay Calm and Be Kind.  Stay Home and Stay Safe.   By keeping ourselves safe we are helping to keep others safe, too.   By saving the NHS from being overwhelmed we are ultimately saving lives.   Stay clear of others for now and for as long as it takes.  Have faith and live in hope that someday soon we will all be together again with our friends, our families and all of those we love.   Then, once again we will be able to enjoy the company of others, walking, talking, singing, laughing and, maybe, even dancing.   It will happen.  Just you wait and see!   In the meantime, lots of love from Martyn & Josephine.   And never forget: you are NOT alone and BRIXHAM DOES CARE.  

Martyn Paddon
Chairman, Brixham Does Care

IMPORTANT Change in BDC Services & Hours

Due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19), we have taken the decision to stop all group activity. Our café, shop and offices in the Town Hall are closed. Our Day Centre is continuing to provide a service for a very small number of people until the end of this week, and then will also be closed.

As a group of staff, we are very much still open though. Whether you need advice or support or just a chat, we will be operating our long-standing befriending service, albeit over the phone. We will strive to combat isolation and loneliness during this time, by simply being here for you.

We will help wherever we can in Brixham with delivering the items that you cannot get out for to your doorstep, so long as the shops still stock it!  We have contacted shops, including the smaller, convenience stores to establish a link so we can support you at home. Pharmacies and GP surgeries have also been contacted, as they will struggle to continue with their deliveries due to self-isolation of their own staff, and this is something we can do to help you.

We are contracted by Torbay & South Devon NHS Trust to deliver services, so you can trust us with these tasks. And know that we will deal with things in a strictly confidential way.

You can contact BDC on our usual number 01803 857727.

You can also contact Torbay Community Development Trust on 01803 446022 who will be operating a 24-hour phone line for the whole of Torbay.

Please remember your neighbours too – they may not be known to us. Stay safe!

Love was in the air at BDC

BRIXHAM DOES CARE CAFÉ was the venue  for Martyn & Josephine’s St Valentine Song & Dance Party and everybody who attended enjoyed a cuppa and a piece of cake, while singing along to songs ranging from The Everly Brothers to The Wurzels.   The BDC Office had no more tickets to issue and, at one point, the kitchen ran out of cups to meet the demand from yet another packed audience.   The café tables were romantically decorated with roses and those who felt like a dance found enough space to jive, waltz and twist the afternoon way.   Some lovely raffle prizes were donated and £240 was raised for the befriending charity’s coffers.   Thanks to all concerned.      

Regular attendees should note the next date for their diaries – Monday 11th May 2020 – Martyn & Josephine’s Marvellous May V.E. Day Song & Dance Party. 1.45pm-3.45pm.   Doors open 1.15pm.