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Lincolnshire Freemasons Announce £60,000 Grant to Centre4



As many as 300 older people experiencing loneliness and social isolation can now join activities such as dominoes, free bingo, and low-impact exercise—all thanks to a £60,000 grant from Lincolnshire Freemasons to Centre4, an organisation based on Grimsby’s Nunsthorpe estate.

It’s hoped the project will also act as an ‘early warning system’ for those experiencing the symptoms of a long-term but undiagnosed health condition. Early detection could help reduce pressures on the NHS and enable Centre4’s existing teams to help more people.

Centre4’s Director of Health and Wellbeing Tracey Collins said: 

“We’re very grateful to Lincolnshire Freemasons for this wonderful grant. It’s a golden opportunity for us to provide something for those who fall through the gaps of our existing support. Better still, it gives us the funding to do something practical, regular and long-term.
“We know from our existing work that these activities can break the cycle of loneliness and despair in people over 65. People feel more valued through companionship and connection, alongside the benefits of getting out of the house, being more active and feeling valued and worthwhile again.”

Lincolnshire’s Provincial Grand Master said: 

“I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Centre4 to expand their hugely important programme of help for socially isolated older people in our community. It’s a scandal that many older people can go for more than a month without having a meaningful conversation with another human being. Thanks to Centre4, this will happen a lot less.”

The World Health Organisation has declared loneliness to be a pressing global health threat, with the US surgeon general saying that its mortality effects are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Tracey added: 

“People feel lonely for many reasons. It could be through a combination of living alone, the high cost of taking part in some activities, the fear of anti-social behaviour and crime, and the general loss of confidence that accompanies old age.”

One of the people excited about the activities is 78-year-old Pete Butterworth, who has been coming to Centre4 as a volunteer for five years.

He said: 

“Having people around me has helped no end these last few years. It’s easy to become isolated and keep hidden away, but I didn’t want that, so I volunteer doing maintenance tasks. But I’d love to socialise with old and new friends too: I enjoy a singalong and a chat.”

While Centre4 already supports many over-65s in North East Lincolnshire, the grant will help those who might not qualify for support under existing criteria. Usually, people must be diagnosed with one of 11 long-term health conditions to be eligible for the existing Thrive programme from Centre4’s Health & Wellbeing team. In addition, the programme is funded for just 12 months for each participant, which can risk people dropping off a ‘cliff edge’ when the scheme stops. This funding will also enable the charity to help people who are over 75, as the Thrive programme is only funded for those under this age threshold.

The grant from Lincolnshire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, funded by Freemasons, their families and friends from across England and Wales.

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