Residents and staff at Mike Jackson House, our homeless veterans’ accommodation in Aldershot, Hampshire organised a day of activities to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe.
Jane McClintock MBE, Service Manager at Mike Jackson House, gives an account on how they commemorated the day while social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Friday, May 8, this country and Europe celebrated the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe.
Clearly, there was a dampener on proceeding due to COVID 19. However, in Mike Jackson House there was still lots to celebrate for those who were able to.
At 10.30am people assembled in the garden to await the two minutes silence at 11am, again a strange affair for all because of the social distancing element.
After observing two minutes silence there were cups of tea and finger food consisting of sausage rolls, pork pies, apple pies and Victoria sponge for all to enjoy. Residents who didn’t come out of their flats for their own personal reasons of reflection were given food so they weren’t left out.
One resident organised a show, calling it “For the Troops” which included his own hilarious take on his Haitian “Forces Sweetheart” where he was cheered from the side lines and windows.
Everyone chatted in the garden through the afternoon, listening to veterans’ stories and reflecting on their own. It was very cathartic for all.
Social distancing was maintained throughout the day, and they truly thought about each other – I’m really surprised at how they have pulled together for each other and the patience they’ve shown with Riverside and the whole COVID issue, which is outstanding.
A couple of residents have become extremely proactive during this fragile time, and one that we’re particularly proud of is Anton who has been volunteering at a local hospital to help the COVID cause.
I’m very proud of my residents and staff and their approach to the hardships of isolation and each other.
Another party beckons, I’m sure!