9 June 2024 MHA Sunday Befriending – two’s company

MHA, the largest care provider in the UK are asking members of the public to get behind them and show support to their annual event, MHA Sunday.

MHA Sunday is an annual event held on the second Sunday in June each year – in 2024 this falls on Sunday 9 June, however If that date is inconvenient for a particular church, we encourage them to set their own date any time that fits with their schedule.

The purpose of the event is to encourage churches across Britain to hold a service to raise awareness of Methodist Homes (MHA). MHA Sunday is an opportunity for:

  • Celebration of the work of MHA and the value of older people
  • Awareness of future needs and ways to respond
  • Fundraising to make a difference to the quality of life for older people
  • Volunteers to work together
  • Recognition of the Church in action for older people

This year, our MHA Sunday service is based around Mark 4:30-32, the Parable of the Mustard Seed. This passage showcases how it can be the smallest of gestures that make the biggest impact, something Dot and Grace know all about through their story of friendship.

Their telephone friendship After being carefully matched by MHA’s befriending team, their weekly half-hour conversation soon turned into regular texts checking in on one another, as family members would, which is what the pair now refer to each other as.

From a simple conversation that started with asking Dot if she liked music, Grace and Dot began to learn more about each other and even bonded over the band AC/DC. Despite this usually being an over the phone befriender role, MHA recently supported the pair to meet up in-person for the first time and it was immediately apparent how much their friendship means to them both. Such a wonderful thing, formed through something as simple as a conversation.

“Befriending really brings the outside world in for a lot of older people. We need volunteers from all walks of life, backgrounds, and experiences. It’s knowing that someone wants to take the time out of their day to talk to them. It’s feeling heard, seen, and listened to.” – Sally Metcalfe – MHA National Befriending Manager.

Meet Dot Following the pandemic and the loss of her husband and sister, Dot confided in her family, who live further away, about feeling lonely. With support, Dot applied to MHA’s telephone befriending service where she was later introduced to Grace. “Grace is like a daughter to me. She is very caring.” – Dot.

Meet Grace Similar to Dot, the pandemic resonated with Grace and brought up some ‘memories of [her] own grandparents’. Grace decided she wanted to spend some of her time volunteering, with the aim of finding a new friend and that is exactly what she found in Dot.

“Dot brings so much to me, in terms of how I feel at the end of the conversation.” – Grace.

Find out more about the work of MHA here