club can plan the year ahead thanks to believe housing grant

A club that runs weekly activities to boost the mental and physical wellbeing of older people, and prevent them from becoming isolated, is celebrating a cash windfall.

The SPA Tuesday Club, based at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Brandon, was able to plan an entire year of activities after securing more than £6,000 from believe housing.

The County Durham-based housing association awarded £6,250 to the club from its Large Revenue Grants scheme.

The club provides weekly activities for older people such as crafts, games and gentle exercise, as well as refreshments, and a monthly lunch.

Members have a range of needs and mobility difficulties, which means they need support to get out and about and are in danger of becoming isolated and depressed.

The club puts on transport and offers support so members can attend, giving them an opportunity to socialise, have a good natter and improve their wellbeing and self-esteem.

When Covid restrictions meant the group could not be held in-person, organisers kept in touch with members once a week.

Some had reported feeling low and isolated again but, by the start of the year, many felt ready to return and organisers were keen to get face-to-face interactions up and running.

Peter Hall, who helps organise the club, said volunteers were delighted with the grant.

He said: “It is quite expensive to run the club because we send transport to pick people up and bring them in.

“It has allowed us to develop an annual programme because we didn’t have to worry about where the funding was going to come from.”

Anne-Marie Parkin, Community Investment Co-ordinator at believe housing, said: “Funding this group is really important because it is a way of getting our customers involved in activities.

“The activities support physical and mental wellbeing and the amazing volunteers who organise them, along with transport and food, are helping people meet up with friends which is invaluable.”