Notice given from charity shop..........

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by keegan2, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. keegan2

    keegan2 Registered User

    Jan 11, 2015
    O/H has been going to the British Heart Foundation for 2 plus years now. Every Mon, Tues and Wednesday for 3 hours a day. Acting as a security guard, or standing outside with the charity tin collecting donations. He feels important when he goes there and it makes him feel he is working and contributing to life. However received a letter from the shop saying they do not need him anymore and are terminating his volunteer contract as of Tuesday 31 March. Reason given they do not feel it is the right environment for him anymore. I have been dreading this moment, deep down I knew it was coming. How do I tell him? Have not mentioned it to him yet, will have to by Monday. He is going to be devastated. Another nail in the coffin as far as he will be concerned. What am I going to do to keep him occupied once he stops going there. I know I have been selfish, particularly sending him there to be babysat so I could have some me time. Well no more me time anymore..........

    Feeling sorry for myself and for him............Cannot get worse can it?
  2. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Tell him he's been made redundant as part of the cuts? I don't know whereabouts you are but in most places it isn't hard to find voluntary charity work. My mother worked (as a volunteer) in a dogs' rescue home then later in their shop, an age related charity shop and something to do with Christian aid, I'm sure you'll find something to replace it.
  3. esmeralda

    esmeralda Registered User

    Nov 27, 2014
    How sad for you and your husband Keegan. My husband was a volunteer with a well know charity for many years, holding a variety of positions and it was very upsetting when they told him he should retire. At least they did it face to face though, not with a letter. After all he's been doing that seems a bit insensitive. Is it possible for you to talk to whoever sent the letter and find out what problems there have been and whether there would be any other role your husband would be able to fulfil? I don't know where you live but here the city has a 'Dementia friendly' policy. If there is something similar it might be helpful to find out what the policy is and you could quote from this.
    If his time with the British Heart Foundation is definitely over then there may be other activities he would enjoy. Are you aware of any dementia support services locally? They may organise a range of things where he could make a contribution or just enjoy the company.
    You haven't been selfish, we all need a bit of space. Hopefully there is someone local who can help and advise you.
    As far as telling your husband goes can you just say he isn't needed this Monday, then that will give you the chance to talk to somebody at the British Heart Foundation. I strongly feel they should be talking to him and expressing appreciation for all his help, not leaving it to you. That isn't fair on you and isn't respectful to him. Sorry ranting a bit now. Best of luck Keegan, hope you keep posting.
  4. WIFE

    WIFE Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    How about approaching the British Heart Foundation shop manager to ask if she could tell your husband to his face that his position is no longer available. It would be much kinder and maybe he would take it better from him/her. Would your Social Services Volunteer Department perhaps be able to help you find him somewhere else to spend a few hours each week. Worth a try. Good luck and I do hope you manage to keep your few precious hours of peace.
  5. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    south-east London
    #5 LynneMcV, Mar 29, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
    I do understand how you feel. My husband had been working a couple of years (one morning per week) at a local charity shop and I was dreading when the day would come when he would be told his services were no longer required. I had visions of him continuing to turn up there each week because he'd forgotten that he was no longer needed there.

    As it turned out, circumstances intervened and the shop ended up closing for good last September, just at the time when we felt my husband had reached the point where he needed to leave - before he was pushed!

    It all worked out for the best in our case - and he received a lovely letter from the charity's head office telling him how much his voluntary work had been appreciated.

    Perhaps you could have a with the manager of the shop your husband has been working at to see if they (or head office) would be kind enough to thank your husband for his contribution in writing? It certainly helped my husband feel good about himself.

    Moving forward, I wonder if you have an Age UK in your area which runs a Men in Sheds project? My husband attends one of these and thoroughly enjoys his time there. It isn't aimed at people with dementia, it is aimed at men over 55 of all different abilities - people who just want to get out of the house for a bit, socialise, potter, have a bit of banter etc. Some have illnesses, at least one other has dementia like my husband, some are just retired and bored and others are lonely.

    In our area there are 2 Men in Sheds projects - one where they can work together on an allotment and one where they are in a workshop making / restoring things. My husband does the latter. Due to his dementia I filled in a form stating that he was ok to use manual tools but not electric tools.

    He now spends his time there stripping / sanding down furniture, preparing it for varnishing or painting - and it is then sold in a charity shop - so he feels he is still doing his bit for charity and achieving something worthwhile. He also enjoys the camararderie there.

    Had he gone for the allotment project, the produce would have been sent to local care homes for the residents to benefit from - so again, it would have been something worthwhile.

    Also, it might also be worth seeing what other voluntary projects are available. My husband is currently obsessed with picking up litter off the street and bringing it home to dispose of in the rubbish. The Council has recently started looking for voluntary community litter pickers to do just that - they get a litter picker, hi vis vest, bags and some basic safety advice. The volunteers do what they can in their own time (no obligation or set hours) and concentrate on the area near to their homes. My husband still has an understanding of dangers around broken glass and crossing the roads etc so at this time it is something he might be suited to. Depending on what your husband's understanding is, perhaps there is something similar in your area? With all the government cutbacks in funding to local authorities, the councils are looking to use community volunteers more and more.

    Another thing we are starting this year is the occasional trip to see the cricket. Travel is a problem for my husband but one friend occasionally drives to see a game and has said he will take my husband door to door when he does so. Another friend will be making arrangements to take him by train. The plan is that I will get my husband to the station and hand him over to his friend, who will then take him the rest of the way to the game and watch it with him. Then, later I will meet them at the train station and bring him home again. It will all require fine planning but it will give me several hours of freedom while my husband thoroughly enjoys watching the game!

    Maybe your husband has a similar interest in a sport or activity that a friend also enjoys and would be able to accommodate him in?

    Have you checked out what Alzheimer's Society does in your area? Where we live my husband is able to attend a group for those whose level of dementia is still at a stage where they can join in activities under their own steam without the need for constant attention. My husband has been attending this alone for a year now. Although his abilities have declined in that time, he is still independent enough to benefit from the group for now.

    Finally, maybe there is something the local church runs? I haven't gone down this track myself yet but it is an idea I have put on the back burner for future reference. I know a lot of churches hold groups for people in the community of all different abilities - social, singing, painting etc. Also, if he got involved in something like that, they might well find him little tasks he could do - like helping to clear tables at social gatherings, collecting tickets at the door, handing out song sheets etc.

    I am just waffling I know - but lots of little opportunities to get involved could pop up by taking that initial step. My husband is not a churchy person but he does like to help others, so I think this might be an avenue for him to explore at some point.

    Good luck - and I'll keep my fingers crossed that something turns up in your area to benefit you both.

    Lynne xx
  6. Rageddy Anne

    Rageddy Anne Registered User

    Feb 21, 2013
    Just for this coming week, could you invent something you need to do together at the times he would go to the shop? And tell him you have made arrangements with the shop, as you need him to help you. Racking my brains to think what I would do tomorrow, I'd go to the garden centre and get him to help get a heavy bag of garden compost. And in Wednesday and Friday, I'd need to do it again! But I DO need compost, and perhaps you don't! Choose a paint colour from a paint store? A present for someone?

    Asking the Charity to send him a letter of appreciation would be good....why did they not do it anyway?

    Would he believe you if you told him it's nothing to do with him that they will no longer be able to make use of his voluntary help, DUE TO A NEW RULING BY THEIR INSURANCE COMPANY?

    Hope things work out for you both, and without hurting his pride.
  7. Kjn

    Kjn Registered User

    Jul 27, 2013
    Oh how hard, as another said do you have an age UK nearby . My dad uses a Friday club, a lot have dementia there , they chat amongst themselves, do art, have their lunch .
    I do hope you can find something for him .
  8. keegan2

    keegan2 Registered User

    Jan 11, 2015
    #8 keegan2, Mar 30, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
    thanks for your replies..

    Rang the Heart Foundation who explained they were making a lot of changes to the shop and that O/H was all ready struggling. Thanked them for having him and requested if they could keep him there til easter holidays were over as our younger son is on school holidays. Manager was very apologetic over situation and was happy for him to be there over that period, also asked her not to say anything to him as it would upset him in advance. Still pondering over what lie I am going to tell him (have a few ideas from your suggestions. As for Age uk its a bus journey away and unfortunately not a direct route like the shop had been and I have to go to work. Have not given up hope will look around and plan to visit Alzheimers society. I like the idea of the litter picker and will contact our local council. Fingers crossed have two weeks to think of something.............I live in Heston Hounslow Middlesex anyone live in my area. Please contact me maybe we could meet up. Thanks for the ideas
  9. triumph25

    triumph25 Registered User

    Apr 2, 2012
    Forest of Dean
    When the Red Cross knocked on our door asking for volunteers my oh said he would love to help. But when we explained he had Alzheimer's they said they couldn't take hi on as 'their insurance wouldn't cover him'

    So that is a legitimate reason. Only a white lie and not a whopper!

    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
  10. keegan2

    keegan2 Registered User

    Jan 11, 2015
    Don't think it would be good idea to say its because of insurance reasons, that will be another blow for him. This illness has already taken away his employment, his driving licence and now another job.......His confidence is already at a low and he loves routine.
  11. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    Dunno whether this idea is practical ... Our local dog rescue asks for volunteers to walk the dogs. If your husband likes dogs and there's someone in the immediate area who can take him and walk with him, might this be an option? Exercise, responsibility and companionship (human and canine) all in one go.:D
  12. Bree

    Bree Registered User

    Oct 16, 2013
    Maybe the charity shop manager could tell him that due to changes in their insurance policy, they cannot employ people over a certain age on a voluntary basis, or something to do with public liability, or health and safety, Lord knows we have enough rules.

    It seems very harsh to just post a letter when they see him every week. After all they have had his services up to now, and a thank you would be good, and well deserved.
  13. Wildflower

    Wildflower Registered User

    Apr 6, 2013
    Are there any other charity shops in your area where your husband could apply? There are endless jobs to be done in charity shops, the majority of the work is behind the scenes, sorting, steaming, cleaning, washing bric a brac, bagging up rags etc. I managed charity shops for several years and many of the volunteers were vulnerable people one way or another. One lady had Alzheimer's and was quite advanced in as much as she often did not know which room she was in, but I still found jobs for her and was grateful for her help. The British Heart Foundation, or rather the manager of this particular shop no longer wants your husband's services for reasons that are not very clear, and I think you deserve a better explanation, but aside from that you may find another charity shop would be very grateful for him, volunteers are in very short supply.

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