Devon’s Freemasons and the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) are very pleased to award Barnstaple Age Concern a grant of £15,000, this is split over three years to provide a form of guaranteed income in support of the work they do.
Rural North Devon can be a big and lonely place for many, minimal public transport services, and big distances from hospitals and surgeries compound social isolation and vulnerability.
Barnstaple Age Concern services can offer assistance on a social and practical level. They aim to support older people and their carers to maintain as independent and full a life as possible. By offering practical support and social visits in the home they aim to support independent living and relieve loneliness and isolation. They keep older people well-informed of the support services available to them in North Devon with support, information and signposting for virtually every topic of interest that could affect you in later life, such as:
Benefits, Finance and Debt, Housing and Care, Transport, Legal issues, Support for Long-Term Conditions, Home Maintenance, Repairs and Adaptations, Home Alarms, Energy, Heating and Insulation.
If they can't answer an enquiry, then they will 'signpost' to someone that can. Not everyone is on-line and so much now relies on accessing services using IT, so calling into an office and receiving information face to face, or over the telephone, is really helpful.
Around 300 people a week are assisted, but they still need more local volunteers to meet local need and reduce service waiting lists. Devonshire Freemasons funding will help maintain their staff of 6 (part-time) people in the Barnstaple offices. The Community raises around 25% of their funding, statutory services another 25%, the rest is down to fundraising.
Amanda Howard (CEO Age concern North Devon):
'What residents of North Devon need is continuation of essential services in our rural areas. What the Freemasons grant will allow us to do is provide a bedrock for ongoing services which are so needed here. In addition, funding from the Freemasons gives other funders the confidence to invest in Age Concern Barnstaple and North Devon, we are very grateful for the support.'
Charlie Yelland (Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire Freemasons):
'It’s been a real pleasure to meet the Team here in Barnstaple, we’re so happy to be helping such a Community based Charity. Living myself in North Devon I can understand how some older residents can quickly feel isolated and need help. We’ve been really impressed by the range of services they offer here. Devonshire Freemasons are very happy to assist and engage.'