Jewish Care volunteers win national Platinum Jubilee Awards

03 Jun 2022

Jewish Care is very proud to announce that three dedicated volunteers, Sara Linskell, Wendy Pater and Rosalind Monnikendam have been chosen as Platinum Jubilee Champions. The volunteers will receive the Platinum Jubilee Awards, set up in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s 70 years of service by the Royal Voluntary Service. The awards celebrate 490 outstanding volunteers who are making a difference every day, chosen from 3000 nominations nationwide. The three Jewish Care award-winners volunteer across the new state-of-the-art care and community hub at Jewish Care’s Sandringham which is on the Stanmore/Hertfordshire borders as well as Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre, located at the Michael Sobell Jewish Community Centre.

Jewish Care volunteer, Sara Linskell has volunteered for Jewish Care for 35 years and in August 2021 became a volunteer driver to take members to the new Jewish Care’s Ronson Family Jewish Community Centre at Sandringham. Sara does everything from serving meals, joining in with activities including as a dance partner during entertainment sessions to befriending clients and spending time with new members, helping them settle.

Sara previously volunteered at Jewish Care’s Edgware & Harrow Jewish Community Centre and during lockdowns made care package deliveries to clients and befriending calls to keep the members connected to the organisation and each other.  A Telephone Befriender, Sara called members weekly and biweekly in lockdown, Sara checked on their wellbeing and also delivered Jewish Care’s Meals on Wheels, which, together with befriending calls, were a lifeline to the local community and remain vital for those who are at home.

Jacey Harris, Volunteer Manager, South Herts who is based at Jewish Care’s Sandringham says, “Sara takes on responsibility for the member’s welfare, and is empathic, warm and charming. Her calm, gentle manner means she can make anyone feel comfortable in any environment. She is sensible, whilst compassionate, articulate and we know we can always rely on Sara.”

On hearing that she’d received the Platinum Champion Award, Sara said, “It was a total surprise and very unexpected. I don’t know why I have been chosen as I do what I do as I love it. I don’t see myself as anything special other than I love helping people. It is something that I look forward to every week.”

Platinum Award Champion, and volunteer for 21 years, Rosalind Monnickendam currently volunteers at Jewish Care’s Pears Court Retirement Living apartments at Sandringham, where she coordinates a team of volunteers who support activities including bi-weekly Coffee Mornings.  She initiates and runs supportive groups for small groups of tenants. 

Penny Johns, Social Coordinator at Jewish Care’s Pears Court says, “Rosalind inspires others with her dedication, can do attitude and professional standards of volunteering. Tenants hold her in very high regard, appreciating everything she does for them. A star and a rock, gives tirelessly of herself to support others.”

Rosalind also volunteers at Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre, where she inducts new volunteers, does telephone befriending, welfare check calls and delivered challah weekly to Holocaust survivors during the Covid-19 pandemic. Centre and Outreach Coordinator, Sarah-Jane Burstein says, “Nothing is too much for Rosalind, she does whatever is needed and is so organised. She has wonderful rapport with the members, checking on their wellbeing with a warm smile that makes everyone feel special and welcome. We really couldn’t run the service without her – she’s integral to the team.”

Rosalind has volunteered in the organisation’s care homes care home, Supportive Communities Tea Parties, the Pen Pal project, telephone befriending and Jewish festival deliveries to older people at home.

When she heard the good news that she'd be selected to receive the Platinum Jubilee Award, Rosalind said, “I was taken completely by surprise and I feel it’s a great honour for myself and also recognises all the wonderful volunteers that I’ve been working alongside for many years at Jewish Care.

“I like volunteering, it’s a chance for me to put back into the community and to do what I enjoy doing the most – caring for other people. It’s special to be involved with supporting the Holocaust survivors, with all that they’ve experienced they come to Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre with a smile on their faces.”

“At Jewish Care’s Pears Court Retirement Living at Sandringham there is a wonderful group of people forming friendships in a new home where they have their own front door in the most beautiful grounds. I really enjoying volunteering with them there.”

Jewish Care volunteer, Wendy Pater, can remember visiting care homes with her mother as a young girl though she officially began volunteering in 2017, chatting with residents at Jewish Care’s Anita Dorfman House at Sandringham, making tea, preparing and leading activities for Jewish festivals. Wendy has run group discussions, gardening projects, baking projects, intergenerational baby groups, ensures each resident has Chanukah presents. In her role as Volunteer Coordinator, Wendy planned activities with volunteers and staff and supported with induction training for new staff at Jewish Care on the Jewish Way of Life. 

During the pandemic, Wendy stepped in when a staff member was ill, running the daily activity programme in the care home for months in full PPE, alongside the staff for residents of Jewish Care’s Anita Dorfman House.

Wendy brought activity plans for everyone with resources; art and crafts, music, films, discussions, ‘Tea with Wendy’ sessions, games, flowers for Sabbath, books, magazines, Zoom discussions. Social coordinator at Jewish Care’s Anita Dorfman House care home at Sandringham, Mihaela Danaila, said, “Wendy did all she could think of to keep the residents stimulated and engaged. She worked with local garden centres, developing indoor gardens for each care home floor creating trolleys of indoor plants for residents to enjoy. She partnered with children in the local community to send pictures and drawings for the residents to enjoy. Always going above and beyond what is expected of a volunteer, kind and caring, volunteering is a huge part of her life and she has given so much time to the residents, inspiring others with her devotion and dedication, giving so much time, creativity and kindness to everyone she comes into contact with.”

Wendy says, “I was so surprised and touched to be given this award and I feel very emotional about it. The opportunities to volunteer at Jewish Care are amazing and I’m so pleased that I am using my Montessori experience and training with residents at Jewish Care’s Anita Dorfman House care home to support them to stay engaged, connected and as independent as possible. The reminiscence work we do with residents also enables independence and it’s a pleasure to personalise the activities for each individual to help them to stay fulfilled and have meaningful experiences everyday.”

Jewish Care Chief Executive, Daniel Carmel-Brown, says, “Jewish Care is so proud of our amazing volunteers who have received Platinum Jubilee Awards. I would like to say a very special congratulations Wendy, Sara and Rosalind and thank them for their dedication and all that they do to make it possible for Jewish Care to support many older people in our community who rely on us each day. 

 “We were delighted to nominate a number of volunteers who go above and beyond in their volunteering for Jewish Care. In our eyes, all of our volunteers are champions, dedicated to giving their time to enhance the lives of those we support in the community. Many of our volunteers tell us that they gain as much, if not more, than they give from volunteering and I would invite anyone who is thinking about volunteering to get in touch.”  

Together with Royal Voluntary Service President, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, and in partnership with The Big Jubilee Lunch, the awards are an official Jubilee project to celebrate outstanding volunteers across the country who are making a difference every day.  In the words of Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall, the Platinum Jubilee Awards “have given us the opportunity to celebrate the remarkable contribution of all volunteers, who truly are the backbone of our country.  

“Congratulations to all our Platinum Champions – and my heartfelt thanks to you and to the millions of volunteers across the UK who give their time and talents so generously.”

If you would like to join Jewish Care’s fantastic team of Volunteers, please contact us on volunteers@jcare.org or call 020 8922 2405.