23rd Sep, 2020

Volunteer base boosted with Freemasons cash

Rob George 31st Jul, 2020 Updated: 31st Jul, 2020

VULNERABLE town residents have been handed a lifeline during the Coronavirus pandemic thanks to a £1,600 grant to Evesham Volunteer Centre from Worcestershire Freemasons.

More than 70 vulnerable local people will receive food, medical assistance and other essential help thanks to the four-figure sum which will also meet the costs of the charity’s extensive network of local volunteers.

Evesham Volunteer Centre has provided a crucial lifeline for elderly and vulnerable people across the Vale for more than 35 years.

With a patch which covers 23 rural parishes plus the town itself, more than 200 volunteers are directly involved with the centre, providing services which include taking people shopping, providing transport to hospitals, organising lunch and social clubs for the elderly or simply spending an hour or two with someone in their own home.

One of the most popular direct services provided by the centre is the Community Transport scheme, with around 60 drivers offering their services who last year clocked in excess of 100,000 miles between them

The centre also has a vibrant telephone befriending system operating, a lifeline to many who are shielding because of their age. Currently volunteers are calling more 100 people a week on top of the existing telephone befriending scheme.

A volunteer team of 25 people are currently doing shopping for about 60 people a week, and a further 50 volunteers are also delivering prescriptions from three of the local pharmacies, the numbers ranging between 80 and 120 prescriptions per day per pharmacy, to those shielding or self-isolating. The centre also delivers two or three food parcels a week to families in need.

The grant from Worcestershire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

Helen Gray, chief officer of the Evesham Volunteer Centre, said: “We’re very grateful to Worcestershire Freemasons for their generous grant, which will be a big help to us in providing local people with the food, medical assistance and other essential help they need during this very difficult time”

Robert Vaughan from Worcestershire Freemasons said: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Evesham Volunteer Centre carry on with their hugely important work during the pandemic.

“They have a wonderful track record of providing practical and emotional support for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”

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