– Written by Bernard Laus
The 29th of March, shall remain a memorable day for Richmond Foundation. For its employees, for its clients, relatives and followers. It sure is for my close colleagues and myself. This day marks the very moment when the doors of the Rehabilitation Service at Villa Chelsea closed its doors, and underwent lockdown, catering for the most vulnerable clients of the Foundation. As you read this blog, in hopes of inspiring you to support us, there are another three colleagues whom have volunteered to leave their families, partners and friends to support these vulnerable service users.
Believe me, this was no easy feat! Within less than two days, the service was equipped with all the necessary supplies, safety equipment and all other precautions were taken such as infection control training, and emotional support. Once all was prepared, two of my colleagues and myself returned home, prepared our luggage for three weeks, and wished our loved ones farewell. By noon, Villa Chelsea went under Lockdown, in its 25 years of rehabilitating individuals struggling with their mental health.
Yet, I am not simply writing to tell you how challenging our experience was, and how brave the employees of the Foundation are. Rather, we believe that when the time of duty calls, to support people in crisis, we rise to the occasion. We dare not sit back when people struggle with their health! This is what Richmond Foundation stands for. When all is chaos, and crisis sweeps the nation, we keep on fighting! We keep on supporting those that need our help, to support them in improving their mental health. True! It is no mean feat, but when we all seek to support one another we overcome any obstacle that comes our way. Despite these difficult times, locked doors, and isolation there is a sense of beauty in the union of professionals, who sacrifice their safety and time, for others in need. Beauty, lies in humanity that helps.
Now, I call upon you to join us behind closed doors, and share in the beauty of helping that this Foundation has created. Our services have grown, our helpline (1770) is now operating on a 24/7 basis. All other residential services have undergone lockdown. The reality is, that mental health difficulties have increased, and as a Foundation that believes in a good quality of life, and healthy wellbeing, we need to support and help all those that request our aid. In order to do so, we too need your aid. We also need your financial support to allow our services to keep running and providing mental health support.
Many others have joined in the beauty of helping out, and thanks to them we have managed to keep on going for the past four weeks. A heartfelt thank you goes out to you for taking the time to read this blog, and an overwhelming round of applause goes to those helping on helplines, runners, amidst-lockdowns, and anyone who gave and is giving a helping hand.
Wishing you all safety and wellness. Always treat yourself and others with kindness and respect.