Celebrations are underway for the Northern Fells Rural Community Development Group following a grant of £10,000 towards the salary of its group co-ordinator. The Group provides essential support across seven parishes to people often isolated by their location and accessible transport. The grant has been made by the Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales through its Community Programme.
The charity was set up in 2002 to help those who, because of their isolation in fell farms, hamlets and small villages, did not have access to services because they could not afford them, the services were unavailable or they didn’t have transport to get them there.
Currently the core focus of its work is to arrange volunteer drivers to take local residents to the shops, medical support and to social occasions in the Group’s minibus. The main beneficiaries are older people enabling them to continuing living in their own homes and fully participate in the community. A team of volunteers also ‘Lends-a-Hand’ providing neighbourly support from cutting nails to assembling flat pack furniture.
Joyce Woodcock at the Northern Fells Rural Community Group explains, “The funding means that we will be able to look into other ways of supporting and involving the community and keep on top of the office paperwork enabling volunteers to get out and about supporting the people we are here to serve.
Joyce continued, “We are always on the lookout for new volunteers who can help out with support for our older and disabled neighbours. We’re very flexible on hours and skills. Anyone interested should call me for an informal chat on 01697 478094.”
Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales manager, Yvonne Taylor commented, “We are delighted to help support this essential project as it has the potential to engage all parts of the community to support each other with the aim to negate social isolation and exclusion. The Group is adept at harnessing the community spirit.”
The Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales supports charities that help disadvantaged people to play a fuller role in the community. Local or regional charities with an income of £1million can find out more about the funding criteria and grant programmes at www.lloydstsbfoundations.org.uk.