Clubs for lonely and isolated older people get volunteer boost thanks to Hampshire and Isle of Wight

A major programme to train and attract volunteers to help lonely and isolated older people is to go ahead following a grant to Brendoncare Clubs from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Freemasons.

The £29,800 grant will help train volunteers, who Brendoncare Clubs rely on to help run their service. It will allow them to confidently deliver an engaging programme of activities for club members, providing more fun and friendship for those who attend.

Currently, 1030 members attend the 71 friendship and activity clubs across Hampshire, with 217 volunteers supporting them.  Brendoncare Clubs is now looking to attract more diverse volunteers who can perhaps offer other skills and are keen to work flexibly across more than one club.  They especially want to recruit volunteers who live close to clubs and are able to build relationships in their local community.

Over 1 million older people say they always or often feel lonely. Not only does this impact on their mental wellbeing, it can also affect physical health. One study has even compared the effects of loneliness to those of smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Brendoncare Clubs provides opportunities for older people to develop new friendships, enjoy a range of activities and a reason to get out and about.

The grant from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales

Brendoncare’s Head of Clubs, Sam Agnew, says,  

“We are very grateful to the Hampshire and IOW Freemasons for this very generous grant and, through our dedicated volunteer training programmes and volunteer forums, are already beginning to see the impact this contribution is having on our volunteering teams across the county.”

Mike Wilks, Provincial Grand Master of Hampshire and Isle of Wight freemasons said:

“I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Brendoncare Clubs, which do really outstanding work with older people in our community, providing fun, friendship and a relief from loneliness”.

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