I am nominating Anthony Hughes for a community award because of his tremendous, unselfish, caring and unstinting work during the Pandemic years of 2020 & 2021.
Anthony is the Chef / Manager of the Memories Tea Rooms, Town Hall Buildings, Bolton Road, Atherton, M46 9JY.
The tea rooms are a very important part of the Good Deeds Trust Dementia Buddy Scheme and are the base for all of the social, pastoral and community events for Dementia Care in our area / community.
As manager of the tea rooms Anthony is at the heart of everything that happens there including being responsible for the running and management of the buildings that house the tea rooms.
Apart from Anthony, the tea room staff are ALL UNPAID volunteers and it is Anthony that has created this fantastic team of approximately 20 very diverse people, he has also devised and runs training courses that are relevant and appropriate for the ages, abilities and health of the volunteers.
The training courses are so good that some volunteers have moved on successfully into full time employment, in some cases for the first time in their adult lives.
Most of the volunteers are people with learning difficulties, or are disabled either physically or with mental health issues, are elderly, lonely or just very shy.
During the Covid crisis the tea rooms have been closed for most of the time since the pandemic started, but,
Anthony has maintained very close contact with the team of volunteers, people with dementia and a large core of the regular customers that had started to use the tea rooms.
Every week, Anthony organises an online meeting for our volunteers and also for the large core of regular customers of the tea rooms, EVERYONE is welcome to join in and this creates a terrific platform for people to discuss any problems they may have or to dispel any fears they have about what is happening in the Covid situation, it is also a perfect opportunity to socialise with the many friends that have been made and forged through the tea rooms, reminiscence and joy play a big part in the online sessions.
Two large Whatsapp groups have been created by Anthony and every day he posts greetings and assurances so that anyone who needs a bit of a boost hears a friendly voice and message, he is a terrific listener whose phone is always on and makes sure that if anyone has anything to say, they are given the opportunity to speak.
He always make sure that people have food and goes shopping for those that need anything.
Anthony has also organised small walking groups for the people that can get out and about and although this activity is restricted to small numbers it is a very important part of some people`s day.
If it is a volunteers birthday he rings them and make a big fuss of them to make them feel that people care about them.
Anthony deserves all the accolades, praise and recognition the can be given, he really is a GIANT of a man on our community.