Holbeck Elderly Aid, the charity that supports older people to stay active in their community, has secured almost half a million pounds from the National Lottery.
The Better Living Matters programme secured a grant of £475,000 from the Big Lottery Fund and marked the occasion with a celebration event at St Matthew’s Community Centre on Tuesday 16 June 2015. The funding will help them to continue delivering a range of services from advice to shopping trips and from lunches to gardening.
Some of the money is earmarked for a replacement minibus as the current vehicle is showing its age. New services will be shaped by the charity’s users, but will build on work they are doing with local GPs in developing ‘wellness’ sessions. It is hoped to establish a café that can act as a drop in.
Speaking to MADE in Leeds community TV, John England, Chair of Holbeck Elderly Aid (HEA) said:
“It’s important that older people have access to our services because the statutory services that people used to depend on are now fewer because of funding cuts by central government. There are more older people in the community than there has been at any time in the past and those older people need increasing levels of support because of the continued level of deprivation in this part of the city.”
Elissa Newman, Chief Executive at HEA told South Leeds Life that all their services are driven by users:
“Age is but a number. People get older and their needs change, but age doesn’t have to be a restriction. We help people make informed choices so that they can continue to live independent and fulfilling lives.”
She is passionate about “stamping out social isolation” in Holbeck. She tells me about one lady who was living in a cold house, her phone had been cut off and she rarely had a hot meal. After partners put her in touch with Holbeck Elderly Aid, they were able to help her sort out her finances, she has become a regular at the lunch club and regained the confidence to see her doctor.
Elissa has a small staff team and depends on the 25 volunteers that regularly help deliver services. If you would like to volunteer, or you want any information about their services please ring Holbeck Elderly Aid on (0113) 245 5553.