Redbridge residents reveal charity's support as Passover appeal begins

David from Redbridge receives a visit from volunteer Belinda delivering Jewish Care's Meals on Wheels

David Rein is one of the many people who have received one of the 50,000 hot meals from Jewish Care. - Credit: Blake Ezra

Redbridge residents have revealed support from a charity which has launched an appeal in the lead up to Passover. 

As the Jewish community prepare for the second Passover festival in lockdown, charity Jewish Care is asking for help to raise funds for their social work and community support team and helpline. 

The organisation needs to raise £150,000 each month to keep these services going, as it receives no government funding and is reliant on the generosity of the community.  

Their helpline has answered 21,000 calls since the start of the pandemic and the social work team are currently supporting 1,200 people.

For some this will be through receiving one of the 50,000 hot, kosher meals from the organisation's Meals on Wheels service.

David Rein, 91, who lives in Redbridge, rarely sees anyone face to face as Covid-19 has forced him to isolate.

He relies on his daily delivery of meals from the service, which he said has been a "lifesaver."

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He revealed how he also looks forward to a call every week from his telephone befriender, who rings up to make sure he is never lonely. 

The charity has also helped people stay connected throughout the pandemic and celebrate festivals together virtually.

Myrtle Preston, who has dementia, was a regular visitor to a local community centre, which helped her stay connected to her community after her husband died.

Myrtle and David Preston from Redbridge

Myrtle Preston was a full-time carer for her husband David but used the charity's helpline when she needed help. - Credit: Jewish Care

When the centre had to close at the start of the pandemic, the Redbridge resident was still able to maintain that social connection through online tea parties and other virtual events. 

Laurence, Myrtle's son and her full-time carer, said: "My mum's face lights up when she sees all her friends on the Zoom tea parties every month. 

"It’s so important to her to stay connected and to keep her mind busy.

"Jewish Care have made sure that can still happen, even through this pandemic.”

To donate to Jewish Care’s Pesach Appeal, please visit jewishcare.org/donate or call 020 8922 2600.