Brendoncare Clubs, run by Winchester based charity, The Brendoncare Foundation, is delighted to announce that they have received a grant of £89,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, to help fund the contact and support service to Club members and volunteers, whilst the physical clubs are temporarily closed.
Coronavirus has challenged the whole nation, causing anxiety and loneliness to many. The contact and support service is helping to maintain the positive connections and friendships Brendoncare Club members and volunteers usually enjoy through their regular clubs.
Contact is being made through telephone and written communications to all 1,700 members and volunteers via a team of over 100 Brendoncare staff and volunteers. The support is focusing on helping to alleviate the extreme loneliness that some older people face, regularly checking they have enough medicine and essential supplies, and putting them in touch with external resources and community partners, if needed.
Some of the Brendoncare Clubs are also meeting up virtually, via Zoom, which is helping to maintain routine and contact for members and volunteers. There are virtual choirs, ukulele sessions, music and book reviews, exercises and games, and also a weekly online video of Brendoncare’s ever popular cooking for one session. There is always time for a laugh, natter and a cuppa! Internet sim cards and tablets are being provided for some members who do not have access to the technology to ensure they can join in too.
Sam Agnew, Head of Brendoncare Clubs, said,
“Thank you very much to The National Lottery Community Fund for this very generous grant. It means we can continue with the vital contact and support service to our members and volunteers. We have had such a positive response from everyone and it is making a huge difference to people’s lives.”
Helen Bushell, Head of Funding for South East at The National Lottery Community Fund, said,
“Loneliness is affecting people from all walks of life while we are physically apart in these difficult times. The incredible projects we fund, such as Brendoncare Clubs, are a powerful force for good – supporting people to connect, reducing feelings of isolation and helping communities come together in new and inspiring ways.
“Thanks to National Lottery players, we are able to fund thousands of projects working in many different ways to help reduce loneliness and isolation in the UK. As we all adapt to profound changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling stigma around loneliness and making it okay to ask for help are more important than ever.”
Brendoncare Clubs is a well established and trusted community service, offering a vital lifeline in Hampshire and Dorset, through the 94 clubs across 40 locations during the week and over the weekend. The clubs are temporarily closed at present, but when running they provide a friendly, fun, relaxed and supportive environment where older people can meet other club members, make friends and develop strong peer support networks.