My name is Shelley Miles and for the past six years I have held the position as the Warden at Dulwich Almshouse. Prior to commencing this position, I was the Manager of an Almshouse in Dover for 17 years with over 100 Residents. I had therefore gained significant experience working with the older generation and within an Almshouse setting. I live locally and am on call out of hours to assist with emergencies.
My main aim is to make sure that the residents are happy and content within the Almshouse, and to promote their independence by doing all I can to enable them to stay in their homes for as long as they are able. Making the Almshouse a home for life.
The Dulwich Almshouse is a small community with 16 Flats. This gives me the opportunity to spend more time with each resident and organise and encourage social activities for both residents and beneficiaries who wish to attend. We currently hold a weekly 'Knit and Natter' session and monthly Coffee morning and Befriender groups. Many other events are also arranged such as movie afternoons, afternoon teas, parties and outings.
Our current meeting room is very small but it is hoped that a larger community room will be available within a new Almshouse which we are hoping to build. It would then be possible to invite other groups to join our activities and encourage the residents to socialise with a wider range of people. The coming together with other groups, especially the younger generation, is important. Sharing stories and learning about modern technology is rewarding for all.
We have close links within the community and with local schools. I recently set up a lunch club where pupils from a nearby school came along to chat to the residents and eat lunch with them. In addition, the residents are invited to a Christmas party at another local school and recently attended a nativity performed by nursery school pupils which they really enjoyed. At Christmas time the Brownies came along and sang Christmas carols to the residents.
In addition to social activities, I visit each resident every morning to check on their welfare and discuss any assistance they may need regarding maintenance of their flat or medical issues. I assist some residents each week with their shopping trip to the local supermarket and will collect prescriptions for them. If required I will escort them to Doctor’s or Hospital appointments. I will help with any forms if requested and liaise with any outside agencies on their behalf.
I also carry out outreach work and visit some local residents in their homes. We are currently trying to encourage more people to join our Befriender group and to encourage people within the local areas to come along and join our social events. I am passionate about having other groups joining us, inviting in to share our community those who may be isolated in their own homes.
When I am on leave there is a relief warden who visits each of the residents on a daily basis. Therefore the residents are sure of contact with the warden or the relief warden 365 days of the year. This is reassuring for both the resident and the residents family.
The Almshouse administrator and I jointly meet with prospective residents for the Almshouse, checking that they meet the entrance requirements and showing them around the Almshouse. We then visit them in their own homes, before their application is processed further.
I have an office in our Communal Room and can be contacted by Email - email@example.com
or Telephone (Voicemail message) on 0208 299 1000