Old folks homes prepare for cherished visits on Mitzvah Day

A host of Hampstead care homes and kindly folk are preparing for Mitzvah Day - the Jewish good deed day which encourages people to help others in the community this Sunday (November 20).

Mitzvah Day began in Hampstead six years ago and is now celebrated worldwide, encouraging people to do something good for others.

The Ham&High Mitzvah Day Challenge aims to ensure that residents of every care home in our community receive a visit.

This year residential homes taking part include Spring Lane Care Home in East Finchley, Lennox House Care Home in Upper Holloway, Young Court Care Home, Kilburn, Lady Sarah Cohen House, North Finchley and Hammerson House, in Hampstead Garden Suburb.

Sara Van Gelder is a Belsize Park resident who will help to ensure the day is a success by visiting the elderly.

She said: “I’m Jewish myself so its part of my heritage.

“Sometimes its good to spend some time with the elderly, play a few games.

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“A lot of older people can be lonely, they don’t get visits every day.

“Its only a few hours but it makes a difference and it gives you a good feeling too.”

Florence Clarke, manager of Lennox House Care Home, said it was important for residents to mix with the wider community.

She said: “Our residents like young people. And they enjoy visits at the weekend as well as during the week.”

Amanda Yaffe, from West Hampstead, who works for the Mitzvah Day project, said it was a good way for those who cannot volunteer full-time to help out one day a year.

As well as visiting residential homes, people are encouraged to send cards to sick children in hospital, or give their time to charity.

* Anyone interested in taking part should email hamandhighchallenge@mitzvahday.org.uk or visit www.mitzvahday.org.uk