Looking Back over this last 18 months – GOG Annual Review 2021

We have been busy reflecting back on this last period of time, with grateful hearts for all we have been able to do despite restrictions, and looking forward to what is to come in coming months.

Take a look at our colourful Newsletter style Annual Review

Scroll down for a summary from our Chair of Trustees:

On the first page of our Newsletter Carol Burns (Chair of Trustees) reflects on what we have been able to do over the last 18 months, and looks forward to September and beyond.

A Year like No Other

‘When you pass through the waters, I will be with you’ Isaiah 43:2

This verse from Isaiah was the title we chose for our 12 page booklet sent out during the first lockdown when we were all reeling from the devastating effects of the virus in the first wave.

We will all have our own stories of the ‘waters’ we have been through and the ups and downs of navigating them.

Maybe our sense of God ‘being with us’ has also fluctuated at times, but in faith we know He is constant and eternally present.

Given the ever changing circumstances over the last 16 months, the trustees are very glad to have had the support of Rhoda Wu who began working for us in January 2020.  Her imaginative and creative ideas and ability to work well with us have meant we were able to respond effectively, producing and posting out 2 printed booklets for those not online, holding 4 online services or events with different themes, sending out monthly updates, and working in partnership with at least 5 different organisations.

We know from feedback that these have had a positive and meaningful impact on older people across the parishes of Leeds (and beyond), and we believe the ripple effect will have caused more outcomes than we will ever know, for which we are grateful. One positive outcome of online activities has been that it enabled some people to participate who may have felt excluded in the past, a welcome addition to our ways of working.

Looking forward

Like many others, we are now turning our attention to September and the year ahead, consulting with older people,  reassessing our priorities, and making tentative plans which we hope will meet the emerging needs of older people and parishes as we all readjust for a different future.

Initial consultation has highlighted that people would welcome some sharing good practice events on  ‘Learning from Lockdown – supporting and including older people more effectively going forward’ so we are aiming to plan this for the Autumn. In addition many would like something on the topic of ‘Finding our Calling in Later life’, so look out for more about this coming up.

We have an ongoing commitment and funding for a Demonstration Project for testing out a Lay Chaplain for Older People role in 2 parishes this coming year and have started discussions with a couple of parishes about this.

Do keep an eye on our mailings and website for up to date information, and we look forward to connecting with you in one way or another soon.

Carol Burns, Chair of Trustees