165 guests were entertained by TV barrister Judge Rinder on Monday 23 October when he spoke at a tea helping to raise over £5000 for Jewish Care’s Connect@ Centres and Jewish Care’s Kun Mor & George Kiss home in Friern Barnet. The event which took place at the Connect @ Centre in Southgate on Chase Road was attended by members, volunteers and friends of the Connect@ centres, from Southgate and Kenton, where older, independent people who are young at heart can socialise every week, enjoying stimulating activities, speakers and lunches.
Judge Rinder was on his home turf having grown up in the area. His family have also had a long involvement with the Connect@ clubs. His grandma, Lottie Malnik who came along to the tea, was a member of connect@ Southgate for many years and his mum, Angela Cohen, volunteers, helping to run discussions sessions. Judge Rinder spoke about how important the Connect@club had been to his grandma Lottie and still is to members of the local community who rely on the organisation for support.
During the event Adrianne Leigh, a Connect@ Kenton member talked to guests about how important the centre is for her. When her husband developed Parkinson’s disease five years ago he became housebound and she became his carer. They lost contact with most of their friends, her sister-in-law passed away and soon after in February, her husband sadly passed away. Adrianne was left feeling very isolated and hit a low point, when a friend asked her along to the Connect@ Kenton.
She said, “I was nervous going but I felt so welcomed when I came in and saw lots of familiar friendly faces. Since then I’ve felt at home here and coming to the club has helped me regain my independence.”
“It has helped me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. For example, when I first came I had trouble walking, but I have found that the Tai Chi we do has helped to loosen my joints and my walking has improved. It has obviously helped my health, but I feel more relaxed and happier too. If you are thinking about trying out the club I thoroughly recommend it.”
After listening to Adrianne, Judge Rinder said, “Adrianne’s story represents the spirit of who we are as a community and the work Jewish Care does really makes such a difference to the day to day lives of so many people like Adrianne.
“I am very pleased to support Jewish Care, their staff are fantastic and the care the staff provide is too. The volunteers and fundraising committees all work so hard and do an incredible job. Loneliness must be one of the biggest problems for older people today but Jewish Care are there and our community know that extending a hand to people and supporting them is life changing.”
Volunteer, Beverley Segen, who does manicures for members at the centre, also spoke at the event, explaining how Jewish Care had made a difference for her mother, who enjoyed many Tuesdays as a Connect@ member.
She said, “She enjoyed the social activities and spending time with her contemporaries. It’s so important to older residents of the area to have a place to come to talk and spend a few hours out and they are so well looked after at Connect@ by staff and volunteers.
“When my mother moved to Jewish Care’s Kun Mor & George Kiss home, where she spend the last year of her life, she was looked after by a dedicated team and we couldn’t have asked for better care. That’s why I wanted to help raise funds that will support both of these wonderful services Jewish Care provides.”
The tea was sponsored by The Vernon, May and Joyce Cohen Charitable Trust and in memory of Sidney Gilmore by the Gilmore Family, with raffle prizes donated including a holiday from Colletts Travel and a pennant signed by Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
At the tea, Judge Rinder, who was practising law as a barrister at 21, shared his stories of professional life, becoming a celebrity ‘Judge’ and taking part in Strictly Come Dancing, before answering a Q&A from guests. Judge Rinder also spoke at the beginning of the month at the Friends of Rubens House dinner raising more than £2000 for Jewish Care’s Rubens House in Finchley.