Some months ago, we posted some thoughts that had been penned by Shoshi, a member of our Activity Team.

Now, as we enter the beginning phase of our easing restrictions and welcoming staff back to Heathlands Village, she has shared her thoughts again – perfectly encapsulating what so many of our staff feel.

A lengthy, emotional and stark portrayal of life at Heathlands Village.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –


Change Is In The Air


I can feel it when I wake up and wonder what today will bring. I can feel it as I drop my daughter off at school and see faces at the gate again. I can feel it as I drive around and see the cars and traffic filling the streets once again.

I can feel it as I walk up the hill and into Heathlands village


Change is in the air.


There is change, and with change come new challenges and discoveries. We’re still wearing masks all day, we’re keeping two meters apart, we are being tested; these things haven’t changed.

But now there is hope all around us. Hope that the worst is over. Hope that we have the continued strength to get through whatever the next stage will be. Hope that things could return to ‘normal’ someday.


Change is in the air.


Then there are the emotions. I cried when I came home from work today, but this time it was tears of joy; tears of relief. I had helped Maureen get her lipstick and outfit ready for her visit from Leslie, her husband.

Her husband who she hasn’t seen for 14 weeks.

Just think about that for a moment. Three months of not being able to see each other. Three months when the world changed in the most dramatic way. Three months in which our residents were placed in the most vulnerable category. Three months cloaked in fear, anxiety, confusion and disbelief.

Three months in which family members were lost and people mourned alone. Three months of being without the one person closest to you – the person meant to be by your side through the good and the bad. Kept apart through no fault of your own.

And so, I cried. I cried for the time lost, I cried for the pain endured – but mostly I cried with the relief that loved ones could be back together again, even through a glass panel.

You could finally see each other, and we could all feel and share the emotion, the excitement and joy.


Change is in the air.


“Families who eat together, stay together.”

When I walked in to Balcombe Hall – our main dining room at Heathlands Village – filled with smiles and chatter, this quote kept repeating itself in my head. For 100 days the doors have remained closed and the hall has been silent. Residents have weathered the storm, eating every meal in the confinement of their flats, alone, with no one to share a story, a laugh, a l’chaim, or a compliment to the chef.

To finally see our family together, sharing a meal and breaking down the loneliness, brought tears to many eyes. The food in Heathlands Village has never tasted so sweet.


Change is in the air.


One of the very first measures put in place way back in March was the closure of the bridge to Eventhall House. Where once we would be constantly back and forth, bringing residents to the bustling Activity Centre or taking activities to them, suddenly there was an invisible, impenetrable barrier between us. Safety first, so we reluctantly said goodbye to our friends across the bridge, not knowing how long we would wait until we saw them again.

Today we were given the news we could go back.

They may not be our blood, we may not have known them all our lives, but these residents are our family. The relief to be told we could finally step over that bridge is difficult to express.

So many twisting, conflicting emotions. Sadness thinking of those who are no longer with us. Joy to finally reunite with those we did see. Smiles and dancing filled the lounge as we made our way around, cherishing every precious moment.


Change is in the air.


No one knows what’s around the corner. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt throughout this time it’s to expect the unexpected. We know there will be teething issues as we go through all these changes. There will be tears and smiles.

But one thing that hasn’t changed – will never change – is the incredible team we have at The Fed; the support, the love and care. We will all support one another, and we will get through this time of change together.


Change is in the air.