Coronavirus has challenged the whole nation, causing fear, grief, panic and disruption to the way each one of us goes about our daily lives. The National Emergencies Trust (NET) has partnered with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Fund (HIWCF) to award Brendoncare Clubs a grant of £5,000 to help those most affected by the crisis.
Brendoncare Clubs is a charity that brings joy and friendship to 1,700 older people in Hampshire and Dorset, thus preventing loneliness and isolation. With the temporary suspension of the 94 clubs, and many members living alone, Brendoncare is running a contact and support service to help maintain the positive connections and friendships members usually enjoy through their regular clubs. This generous grant will help fund this crucial service.
Brendoncare is providing regular contact 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.
Sam Agnew, Head of Brendoncare Clubs, said “Thank you very much to NET and HIWCF for providing this funding, which is essential to ensure that we are able to continue carrying out this 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.”
Jonathan Cheshire OBE, HIWCF Chairman, commented, “We are delighted to be able to support Brendoncare Clubs in their work to help those in need in the local community. Local charities, community groups and voluntary organisations are providing a lifeline to those less fortunate, and it is heartening to see that these organisations can react so quickly and be so resourceful in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The vital services that these organisations provide are more crucial now than ever before but are under threat more than at any other time. HIWCF is continuing to raise funding for charities across our region, for which donations can be made to the ‘We’re All Together’ Fund: virginmoneygiving.com/fund/AllTogether. ”
Future plans for Brendoncare Clubs include setting up virtual clubs, to maintain regular routines for members, as well as keeping them connected. There are also plans for a virtual choir, and online videos of Brendoncare’s ever popular cooking for one sessions. Internet sim cards and tablets will be provided for those members who do not have access to the technology to ensure they can join in too.
Brendoncare Clubs is a well established and trusted community service, offering a vital lifeline for older people through 94 clubs across 40 locations during the week and over the weekend. The clubs provide a friendly, fun, relaxed and supportive environment where older people can meet other club members, make friends and develop strong peer support networks.