Recently, Kate Wilson met with Dianne Richardson to find out about her passion for supporting Calderwood House and why she has decided to sponsor a resident’s room. They had a socially distanced walk followed by a chat outside Dianne’s house while Chester chaired proceedings! Here’s what Dianne had to say:
Why support Calderwood House?
“I am very aware that I have led a lucky life. I’ve always had somewhere to live. Don’t get me wrong – there have been times when it’s been a struggle to get the shopping – but I’ve always been able to feed the family.”
I am also aware that it is luck as much as it is hard work, and that anyone of us could be in that situation. For me, when you hear the residents talk about their life and their stories – something outside their control that has happened that has started this journey for them….. I just feel that when we have been lucky and when we do have good lives, we should make sure that we are there for those who haven’t been that lucky. We help them to have another chance.
I love the work at Calderwood House. I love that when I talk to the residents, they don’t talk about having a roof over their heads, they talk about having a family around them. I’m lucky – I’ve got a five generational family and I have that support network around me.
So what about Rachel and her role in this?
It is a no brainer that we support the change-makers in our community. The ball of energy that is Rachel – well, what choice do you have?
I was having a chat with Rachel and she asked me if I knew about sponsoring a room. Rachel and the team at the hostel needed people to write to the residents, to connect with them and care about them. As I was already paying a small regular amount each week I realised it would be easy to increase this in order to sponsor a room.
it’s not just about the money and the roof over residents’ heads, it’s having somebody there who cares and can demonstrate community support. For me having an amount that goes out every month from my wage is a great way to give this. I’m just glad that I can afford to do this. I’ve already written my first letter.
Do you think it makes a difference if you get letters from residents?
You want to feel some human connection, but actually I think it is often a big thing for a resident to write to someone so there’s something important around that too. It’s hopefully building confidence and creating those connections that help someone feel more integrated and connected to the community where they will live independently in future. It helps to rebuild identity.
Why have you named the room The Butterfly Suite?
I was thinking what to call it, and I wanted something other than the “Richardson” suite. I’ve been called a butterfly who creates a hurricane (that’s my LinkedIn profile) so I was thinking about something around that. Then I thought about how appropriate butterfly is considering what happens to residents. They are given the chance to transform from a shell. And butterflies also bring joy! My grandchildren also coloured in some pictures to send in which will bring some more smiles.
I’ll enjoy keeping that connection going with residents in The Butterfly Suite.
If you are interested in sponsoring a room please drop an enquiry here and we’ll send you some more information. Thank you