This Community Centre has been running for 50 years, serving the local people of Mold in north Wales.  It opens every day each week, offering a variety of classes and sessions aimed at meeting local need.  These include a community café, foodbank, yoga, kids clubs and activities, English and Maths lessons and crafts.  It also runs health sessions including physio, cardiac services and counselling. The Centre carried out a consultation locally recently that determined there was a need for additional support and activities for the elderly. Many older people had stated they felt lonely and isolated and there was little available specific to their needs.

£3,536 was granted to Parkfields at the October 2023 meeting.  This funding is contributing towards the salary of a new part-time role of Community Connector, who will develop projects specifically towards older people.  Part of this will be to set the Centre up as a warm hub for those struggling with the high costs of keeping their homes heated. It was also include establishing a befriending service for older people who are house-bound, and running social sessions such as gentle exercise, arts and crafts, and games.  The anticipation is that more than 250 older people will benefit over the year.

www.e-voice.org.uk/parkfieldscc/

 

Sapcote Memory Hub is a community interest company working across Leicestershire from its venue in the village of Sapcote.  The Hub offers activity sessions and support groups for people living with dementia or memory problems.  It provides cognitive stimulation therapy as part of the sessions which is proven to improve quality of life for older people living with dementia. The hub is run by a team of experienced healthcare professionals with a shared ethos to help improve lives of people with and their dementia.

At the October 2023 meeting of Trustees, the Allen Lane Foundation awarded a grant of £5,000 to the Hub.  This funding is to contribute towards the provision of an outreach service which will support people and families in their homes.  Help will include liaison with health services, guidance on how best family members can support someone with a dementia diagnosis, and assistance with related form-filling and financial aid.

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100068040053195

Empower Inspire CIC was established at the beginning of 2022 as a direct response to a post-Covid world. The idea was to reduce isolation and promote inclusion through the creation of community groups to be formed on a needs-led basis.  The organisation operates in the Neath Port Talbot/Swansea Bay area of south Wales.  Empower Inspire has now set up eight community groups that benefit 110-120 people a week.  These include a group supporting parents of children with additional needs, an intergenerational group meeting for coffee mornings, two Singing for the Brain classes, and a group initiative aimed at improving mobility in older people.

At the February 2023 meeting, Allen Lane has agreed a grant of £5,000 to Empower Inspire to set up an additional group in Glynneath within the Vale of Neath.  This will run as the ‘Sunflower Café’ and provide an informal session for individuals living with dementia, and their carers.  The dementia café will help to reduce the isolation felt by individuals and their families, and improve their wellbeing.  It aims also to improve opportunities for signposting/referring people into professional services where appropriate.

www.empowerinspire.co.uk

This charity works in the rural parishes of Wembury, Brixton, Yealmpton, Newton & Noss and Holbeton which are situated around the River Yealm in South Devon.  It focuses its work on supporting families who have a family member diagnosed with or living with dementia, and also raises awareness of dementia in the wider community. Around 45 families are currently supported, alongside another 40 people attending community based groups and activities.

At the October 2022 meeting, Allen Lane Trustees agreed a grant of £5,000 over two years towards Dementia Friendly Parishes around the Yealm.  This funding is a contribution towards the general running costs of the charity.  Outcomes from the coming year are that the charity will aid the local area in becoming more dementia friendly; families will be helped to maintain quality of life when coping with a dementia diagnosis; and that it will work to improve alliances in the wider area.

www.dementiayealm.org

 

Melksham Free Dining was set up during the Covid pandemic, with the aim to bring people back together again after restrictions were lifted. The organisation is focussing its work on elderly, vulnerable and lonely people who are otherwise socially isolated. It offers a free two-course nutritious lunch, followed by social activities and support by volunteers. It takes place in a community hall in Melksham, a small town in Wiltshire with 42 people currently benefitting.

In October 2022 a grant of £4,000 split over two years was agreed. The Foundation’s funding will go towards general running costs of the weekly provision. Anticipated outcomes are that the organisation will continue supporting over 40 people each week with a healthy meal, emotional support and companionship.

www.mcdining.org

Fermanagh Rural Community Initiative works to address the issues faced by people who are socially excluded and disadvantaged within Fermanagh and bordering counties in Northern Ireland.  It offers training and opportunities to people five days a week from its offices and base in Enniskillen. Core activities are around employability, with IT training, personal development and a range of short courses on offer – such as Health & Safety, Manual Handling, First Aid etc.  In more recent years it has offered craft activities and introduced a Men’s Shed Project too.

At the June 2022 meeting, the Allen Lane Foundation agreed a grant of £5,965.  This covers the shortfall in the budget of a digital skills project for older people that Fermanagh Rural Community Initiative is running.  The project will benefit around 45 people, and aims to improve their knowledge and skills in using technology, either through a computer, smart phone or other device.  It will help older people to access important services online such as booking vaccinations appointments etc, and improve online safety through better understanding of scams or fraud.

www.frci.org.uk

Elder Voice works from Blairgowrie across a large rural part of Eastern Perthshire.  It offers a range of services that aim to benefit and advise older people living in the area.  It runs a befriending scheme, offers regular shopping and prescription uplift services, provides a community and patient transport project, and offers a ‘Store to Door’ service with an emphasis on healthy eating.  More than 500 older people are registered as clients of the charity’s work.

The Allen Lane Foundation offered funding to Elder Voice at the June 2021 meeting of Trustees.  The £5,000 grant will contribute towards general running costs of the organisation. Anticipated outcomes of the work are that older people will have improved connectedness to services with a reduction in isolation and loneliness; and that they will have improved wellness and self-esteem, promoting independent living.

www.eldervoice.org.uk

Pershore and District Volunteer Centre offers three main activities locally. These are: recruiting and placing around 100 volunteers each year for the centre and various local voluntary and community organisations; a community transport scheme that includes volunteer drivers and accessible minibuses, and;
a lunch club that meets three times a month for around 40 older people.

The Centre caters for people in the market town of Pershore and in the 45 rural villages around the town, which is ten miles from Worcester.

At the June 2021 Trustee meeting, Allen Lane agreed a grant of £2,000 that has contributed towards costs of establishing a formal befriending scheme for older people in the district. This follows on from a more ad-hoc telephone befriending service during Covid that helped lessen people’s isolation and kept a regular connection whilst other face-to-face activities had stopped. A new part-time befriending coordinator post will be recruited, and the scheme expects to benefit ten new volunteers who will support 20 new clients over the coming year.

www.pershorevolunteers.org.uk

MyCareMatters is a community interest company that works across a wide area, largely around the south of England.  Its aims are to improve the experience and outcomes of care in any social setting for people with communication challenges. It aims to empower people with the information, tools and support that they and their families need to gain a sense of control and involvement in their own care.  It has been running two specific projects to help older people and those with significant conditions such as dementia.  The first is around later life planning and centres on a useful resource ‘My Future Care Handbook’; and the second is a Buddy programme that uses the Handbook as a framework to supporting people in identifying and meeting their goals for later life.

At the February 2021 Trustee meeting, the Allen Lane Foundation awarded a grant of £7,500.  This is a contribution towards costs of running the Buddy Programme, and particularly to help better inform people who are newly diagnosed with dementia and their families and older people in general, around a future care plan.  Outcomes of the work include improved wellbeing and peace of mind for individuals and families; a better experience for individuals in later life and at the end of life; and overall reduced costs to society through fewer unwanted hospital admissions and/or medical interventions.

www.myfuturecare.org

This charity aims to relieve rural isolation and promote community spirit and is focussed mainly on older people. It provides a free information service that visits rural villages in Suffolk to provide social contact, information and guidance to communities that have difficulties in accessing such assistance due to their geographic location. This includes a mobile community café caravan, that enables people to come for a hot drink and cakes whilst accessing relevant information, advice or support. Over 6,000 people benefit per annum, through around 300 village visits across the county.

At the February 2021 meeting, the Allen Lane Foundation agreed a grant to Rural Coffee Caravan that will help to fund ten village visits per annum. The grant was for £9,000, split over a three-year period. Outcomes of the work involved include: older people living in the villages that are visited will reconnect and socialise with others in the community and will have reduced isolation; and that they will be able to access relevant information in order to promote their mental and physical wellbeing.

www.ruralcoffeecaravan.org.uk