Lisburn Downtown Centre

Lisburn Downtown Centre is located in the heart of Lisburn, just to the south of Belfast.  Downtown offers a welcoming place for the whole community, with a focus on those feeling isolated and alone.  It supports an estimated 120 people each week.  The Centre offers drop-in sessions on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons which are open to all members of the community, with a variety of activities and a friendly cuppa.  It also runs sessions for particular groups, including for people with mild learning difficulties, older people, parents of a child with a learning disability and people with mental health issues.  These groups are generally for people referred from GPs, social services and health services.  Currently, the Friday Club supports 18 people with mental health issues, and the Cheer You Up group assists 33 older people.

A grant of £3,000 has been awarded to Lisburn Downtown Centre to contribute towards the salary of the part-time coordinator.  The coordinator is the only staff member, and runs all services, supported by a team of more than 35 volunteers.  Outcomes for the coming year are for members to have increased wellbeing and for their social isolation to be lessened through the development of supportive social networks.

www.downtowncentre.org

West Norfolk Befriending

West Norfolk Befriending is a registered charity that provides a befriending service for older people. Based in King’s Lynn, the area the service covers is very rural with poor public transport links. Older people can easily become isolated, particularly when families do not live nearby, and many of the people the charity assists are lonely. West Norfolk Befriending provides a service which aims to enhance their quality of life; maintain their independence; reduce their isolation; improve their physical and mental wellbeing; and identify risks to their health and environment.

All befriending volunteers are trained and DBS checked visiting older people in their homes on a regular basis to listen, and provide emotional and social support. Befriending is generally for a period of up to a year, with the individual being encouraged to join other groups or clubs afterward. At the time of the grant being made, the service had 36 befriending clients, with a further ten awaiting matches. In February 2018, the Foundation awarded a two-year grant of £3,000 per annum towards the salary of a client assessor. This role is vital in assessing the needs of clients, and ensuring a good match is made with a volunteer befriender. The funding will allow for increased capacity of the role.

www.wnbefriending.org.uk

Young at Heart Club

The Young at Heart Club works to benefit older people by offering a friendly social club in their local towns.  Three separate day-time sessions are run at venues in Tiverton and Burlescombe, and around 40 people benefit from these each week. Transport is provided by volunteers and there is a range of activities (such as bowls, computer sessions and quizzes) during the day, plus a nutritious two-course lunch.

A grant of £4,000 has been awarded to the Club at the Foundation’s October 2017 Trustee meeting.  The funding will contribute towards the costs of renting community halls in the two towns where the sessions take place.  Overall, the Group’s aims over the coming year are to continue to reduce isolation and loneliness, and improve the health and wellbeing of people attending.

www.youngatheart.club

Antrim Retirement Group

Antrim Retirement Group is a constituted group working with older people in Antrim, Northern Ireland.  The Group offers a monthly meeting for members, often with a guest speaker.  The talks cover a wide range of topics of interest to the members, and have recently included photography, health and cookery.  There are twice-yearly trips organised too.  Overall the Group aims to enable older people to make and meet friends, and increase opportunities for social and recreational activities.

At the October 2017 meeting, the Foundation’s Trustees agreed to make a contribution of £400 towards the running costs of the Group.  This will support the 37 members to continue to meet on a regular basis.

Solva Care

Solva Care is a community interest organisation in the village of Solva, in Pembrokeshire.  It was established specifically to address the needs of the older people in the area following a detailed community survey which found a significant lack of person centred help and support. Solva Care ran a two-year pilot which included training volunteers, setting up a community transport project, providing a respite and befriending scheme, and starting new activities and social events.

The Allen Lane Foundation has agreed to contribute a total of £14,679 to the organisation over a two-year period.  This will fund a part-time co-ordinator and related project costs, to take the work forward and develop the ‘whole community’ model further.

Get Hooked on Positive Activities

Get Hooked on Positive Activities is a social enterprise based in Grimsby in north east Lincolnshire.  Over the past ten years it has worked with various groups and organisations to deliver a range of activities, including archery, fishing, golf, photography, walking and bushcraft. It uses trained coaches and volunteers to facilitate sessions and has benefitted more than 9,000 people in all.

The organisation applied for a grant towards a series of introductory IT sessions for older people – and in February 2017 received funding of £3,000.  This grant is contributing towards costs of six courses, each of six weeks’ duration, aimed at people over the age of 65.  Outcomes of the project include older people having better access to IT, a broader social network, and involvement in regular learning activities.

www.ghopa.org

 

Burghfield and Mortimer Handybus

This organisation has been running for more than 20 years, and quite recently became a registered charity.  It operates a transport service in several villages in around the Burghfield and Mortimer area of West Berkshire.  The area in which it operates is rural, and has limited public transport.  The service benefits 95 older people currently, ensuring they are able to go shopping, attend medical appointments, participate in social trips, or just have the opportunity to get out regularly and meet friends.

With local authority cuts, the Handybus service is no longer to receive Council support with the lease or general running costs of its minibus.  It is instead aiming to preserve the service with the help of the local community.  The Allen Lane Foundation is contributing £1,500 towards these efforts.  Funding aims to reduce the isolation of older people, increase their independence, and promote greater engagement within the local community.

Good Morning Down

Good Morning Down offers a free caring/befriending telephone support service to people in Downpatrick, in County Down, Northern Ireland.  A registered charity, it has been supporting people for over ten years.  It targets people living in rural isolation, the elderly, people who are lonely, and others who have mental health issues, or who are bereaved.  Good Morning Down provides a regular phone call with people to lessen their isolation, and currently makes more than 300 calls each week.

The Foundation has made a two-year grant to the charity – £3,000 per annum, from February 2017.  The grant is towards salary costs of the part-time workers.

www.goodmorningni.org/down

 

Plot 22

Plot 22 is a registered charity running a community allotment which “offers a place of relaxation, recovery, acceptance and belonging to people who may be experiencing difficulty in their lives”.  It aims to improve people’s wellbeing through involvement in therapeutic gardening; working together with others on positive, healthy and outdoor projects; and growing, cooking, and eating together.  Based in Hove, Plot 22 offers various projects, aimed at vulnerable groups of people.

In February 2017, the Foundation has contributed £3,000 towards Plot 22 developing new regular sessions.  The charity will work in partnership with specialist agencies to start groups working with female survivors of sexual violence; and with people living with dementia.  Both groups aim to offer improved physical, mental and emotional well-being, and provide one-to-one support in a safe and nurturing environment.

www.plot22.org

 

Levenshulme Good Neighbours

Levenshulme Good Neighbours helps isolated older people to lead independent and fulfilling lives as active members of their community.  It works in south Manchester and supports more than 300 people, the majority of whom are aged over 75, and many live alone.  The charity employs a part-time coordinator, who recruits, trains and supports a large number of volunteers who act as befrienders, and help with various services.

In October 2016, the Foundation awarded £6,876 which will increase the hours of the coordinator and associated costs.  This will enable additional volunteers to be recruited and trained, and thereafter more older people to benefit.  With around 60 volunteers already on board, the grant should enable a further 20 to join.

www.levenshulmegoodneighbours.org.uk