A CHARITY has the chance to win £50,000 of lottery money to aid its battle to fight loneliness.
Community First is one of five groups in the Meridian West region competing for votes to secure the Big Lottery People’s Project funds, with entries closing at midday this Sunday, March 13.
In partnership with The Right to Work, Community First, based in Langstone, already provides a community café for older people in Emsworth with freshly-cooked delicious lunches and brilliant table service – all provided by people with learning disabilities.
However, the belief many older people need more than just a lunch is where Silver Linings comes in – it’s an initiative to improve life for older people living across the Havant borough.
Co-ordinator Wendy Shone said: “We want to provide Silver Linings for as many older people as we can to encourage hope, fun and renewed joy in their lives.
“If we sound like idealists – guilty as charged! We at Silver Linings want to make all the difference in the world and make loneliness a thing of the past for as many people as we can support. A vote for us is a vote against loneliness and could help us to make that vital difference.”
The £50,000 would enable the Silver Linings project to build on the success so far and give older people precious time together when they can enjoy a range of stimulating day activities, indoors and out and about.
Examples are dance, music, crafts, trips out and opportunities to learn new things that older people may never have had the chance to before – all designed to improve their health and well-being.
The regular three or four hour sessions will encourage people to make friendships and have fun – both vital in order to stay happy and healthy.
In its appeal to voters Silver Linings says it is ‘passionate about making a difference to older people to break the cycle of loneliness that can so easily lead to depression so that older people can start to look forwards again’.
“These times can remind them that they are not alone and that happiness and better health is still theirs for the taking.”
Since 2005, the Big Lottery Fund and ITV have given the public a say in awarding more than £33 million of lottery funding.
The three projects with the most votes in each region will receive up to £50,000, with runners up offered a discretionary award up to £5,000.
To vote visit the website – www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk