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How to run a holiday at home

Some seniors (50–60 age range or older) find it hard to take a holiday for physical or financial reasons, which may leave them feeling alone and isolated, particularly over the holiday period when friends and families are away. A Holiday at Home (HAH) provides an opportunity for seniors to get together for a holiday, while sleeping in their own beds. It offers suitable activities like quizzes, crafts, games, concerts, music, armchair exercises and sing-a-longs while providing an opportunity to demonstrate God’s love and care.

How to plan a programme

A good HAH programme depends on prayer before and after. It should provide something for everyone, should be creative, active and informative and have lots of variety. It needs to be well thought out and planned so as to give a clear message of valuing those who attend. Planning should also make provision for good follow-up so there is something to which people can be invited afterwards.

A good HAH programme depends on prayer before and after.

Who will help?

You need to find some helpers, people who will be able to create a relaxed, fun filled holiday atmosphere – something different, something safe and something to look forward to … something special. Helpers need to be kind, warm people ready, willing and able to do what is needed to make sure that their guests will be relaxed and enjoy themselves. They need to be intuitive people, who know what is needed before it is asked; people who can stimulate conversation, facilitate activities in a sensitive and helpful way and above all to pray and speak for Jesus as and when the need arises.

Helpers need to be kind, warm people ready, willing and able to do what is needed to make sure that their guests will be relaxed and enjoy themselves.

Practical Matters

  • Decide on definite objectives for the event.
  • Start from where you are – beginning with a small lunch club, small fellowship, large fellowship, or perhaps no meeting at all.
  • Decide which group you are aiming for – church people, people in your community, neighbours? Age range? Ability? Stamina?
  • Consider transport – how will guests get there? Do they need a lift?
  • Publicity – how will the event be publicised? By church members, hand-outs, local free papers, church magazine?
  • How will the event be financed – is fundraising necessary?

Legal and Safety Issues

Protection of vulnerable adults – the government is concerned to protect vulnerable adults and children and many individual churches and church bodies insist that volunteers are screened on a regular basis. Ensure that your volunteers are DBS checked.

Food hygiene – nowadays it is a statutory requirement that all those providing food in the public domain have the required food safety training certificates.

David Heydon

This article was originally published in 2010 for A Passion For Life’s Ideas for Mission. For more information please contact the Outlook Trust or visit: www.outlook-trust.org.uk

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