Two Rayleigh community groups have received a life-line following a donation from Rochford Housing Association’s Maureen’s Gift Fund.
Paint Box and Rayleigh Age Concern’s over 55s lunch club have both benefitted from the funding which supports charities, resident groups and voluntary organisations in need of donations to help deliver community activities.
Maureen’s Gift was set up in 2011 in memory of local community champion and former chairperson of the Rochford Housing Association board, Maureen Vince.
More than £2,000 was awarded to Rayleigh Age Concern which will fund food, transport costs and building improvements for a lunch time social club. Up to 40 people currently enjoy the midday meal that is served three times a week at The Todham Centre.
Rayleigh Age Concern has also been chosen by Rochford Housing staff as their charity of the year, with further events and fundraising planned for the next 12 months.
Paint Box, a community art therapy group, was on the brink of having to close its club. The £500 contribution from Maureen’s Gift has enabled Paint Box to continue, with the donation financing the room hire and membership to the SAA (society for all artists).
The craft group meets weekly at the Cedars Centre, which provides a relaxed, low-cost hobby where residents can socialise and improve their artistic skills.
Geri Hatcher, Paint Box member and Rochford Housing resident, said: “I have just retired and without work I felt a little isolated. The group has helped me because it has given me a hobby and an interest to become passionate about.”
Emma Keegan, managing director for Rochford Housing Association, added: “It’s lovely to hear that the community, and our residents, are seeing the benefits of Maureen’s Gift funding.
“We aim to address the needs of our customers when we invest in any community-led programmes and we would urge other local groups to apply for a share of the fund which can help make a real difference to people’s lives.”
To apply or find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.