A Great Wakering social club that offers support to older people in a rural community is benefiting from a grant to continue its good work.
Sanctuary Housing has provided funding to support The Barling Evergreens, which relies on donations to maintain its weekly social meetings that help combat loneliness and social isolation.
Barling Evergreens has been going strong since it was set up during World War Two in 1940 - but with only a small ageing membership, it finds it difficult to make ends meet.
Residents congregate at the club, based in the former Wakering School, every Tuesday at 2pm to chat, eat, play games and have competitions.
Chris Silvey, Sanctuary Housing’s resident involvement officer for Rochford, said: “We are proud to support Barling Evergreens as without donations like this, it would falter. Barling has limited public transport links, so this social club helps residents lead happy and fulfilled lives, giving them a chance to socialise and do community activities with others from the local community.”
Mrs Joan Webb, 88, treasurer of Barling Evergreens who has been a member for over 20 years, added: “This social club has brought people together for over 70 years and so we are grateful to Sanctuary Housing for giving its support.
“Some of our members feel isolated either because of the loss of a loved one or because their family has moved away from the area but we help alleviate people’s loneliness by offering companionship and a chance to socialise.”
The donation was provided by Sanctuary through its Maureen’s Gift fund which supports charities, resident groups and voluntary organisations in need of donations to help deliver community activities. It was set up in 2011 in memory of local community champion and former chairperson of the local board in Rochford, Maureen Vince.
To apply or find out more, contact Sanctuary, quoting Maureen’s Gift, on either 0300 123 3511 or 0800 131 3348. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone interesting in attending Barling Evergreens should call 01702 311591.