Lincolnshire Cares, the befriending service that offers friendship and support to people over the age of 60 in Caistor and surrounding areas, is pleased to announce two fundraising initiatives that will enable it to continue to support our vulnerable senior citizens throughout these challenging periods we’re all facing.Read More
Despite the lockdown continuing into the early days of summer, nearly 150 senior citizens in Caistor and surrounding villages were treated to a surprise afternoon tea on Saturday 13 June, courtesy of local charity Lincolnshire Cares.
Under normal circumstances, the group (that originally started as ‘Caistor Cares’ back in 2016) would have been holding its traditional Summer Party around this time. But with the global pandemic affecting all kinds of social gatherings, it was instead decided to bring a little bit of summer directly to the area’s senior citizens, in the form of an ‘afternoon tea’ package, delivered directly to their doors.
As such, a group of volunteers went out of their way to pack, label, collate and deliver a special food package to all the elderly residents in the area who would normally attend the charity’s seasonal parties, regular coffee mornings and other social events, as well as benefit from the dedicated befriending service that the group operates.
Caistor Town Hall was a hive of activity on the morning of Saturday 13 June, with Lincolnshire Cares volunteers donning all the necessary PPE before being kept busy making and packing the afternoon teas ready for collection. Another wave of helpers then turned up to distribute the goods around the town’s seniors and even further afield into the neighbouring villages. In all, around 140 afternoon teas were delivered, much to the surprise of those on the receiving end – some of whom were quite emotional to be remembered and thought about during these challenging times.
“Being able to surprise our ‘members’ with this afternoon tea package was the result of a great team effort and one of the many highlights of our charitable work,” said Lincolnshire Cares founder Chris Robey. “They were extremely well received and we had several of our elderly recipients welling-up with tears on their front doorsteps!
“On behalf of Lincolnshire Cares I’d like to say huge thank you to everyone who was involved, from inception to delivery. We are very grateful to Caistor Town Council, West Lindsey District Council and the Volunteers for Caistor group, who have all made kind donations to help pay for these lovely teas – and we’d also like to thank Kate Jacob for providing around 145 of them altogether!
“We were excited to celebrate the launch of Lincolnshire Cares in this way with our senior residents – albeit from a safe distance – and we are now looking forward to organising lots of social events with them in the future, as well as helping out more towns and villages around Lincolnshire. We currently have about 140 members and until we can visit them in person again, we will continue to support them with our popular telephone befriending service.”
For more information about this local voluntary organisation which offers friendship and support to people over the age of 60 in Caistor and the surrounding villages, please visit www.lincolnshirecares.org or call Chris Robey on 01472 851189.
These extraordinary times have certainly had a dramatic impact on Lincolnshire Cares and all its activities. Having taken the difficult decision to cancel all our social events until Government advice deems it safe to continue our face-to-face activities as a charity, we made a swift switch to telephone befriending as the best option to help reduce social isolation throughout the pandemic.
We suspended all befriending visits in early March but offered every one of our members (as well as those who attend our coffee mornings and other social events) the chance of having a weekly phone call as an alternative way of providing support and companionship.
This telephone befriending service has been extremely popular and we are now in regular phone contact with more than 75 senior citizens in Caistor and district.
While it is extremely sad to think that our portfolio of social events (including weekly coffee mornings, Wednesday socials, afternoon tea, summer and Christmas parties) may be on hold for some time, we are looking forwards to reuniting our Lincolnshire Cares community whenever circumstances allow this to happen safely.
We will continue to provide our telephone befriending service until then, so if you are aware of any senior citizen in Caistor, the Kelseys and surrounding villages, that could benefit from our service, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling Lincolnshire Cares on 01472 851189.
Caistor Cares, the befriending service that was started by a small group of volunteers in 2016, has now received official charitable status from the Charity Commission and will soon operate under the ‘Lincolnshire Cares’ banner as it seeks to expand its service into other towns and villages in the county.
The community volunteering network aimed at reducing social isolation has been extremely well received among Caistor’s elderly residents, many of whom attend the regular coffee morning sessions, afternoon teas, film screenings and other varied social events. In addition, over 30 members take advantage of the group’s befriending service, which is offered to anyone over the age of 60.
Having also expanded this friendship and support network into many of the surrounding areas, (including the ‘Kelsey Cares’ branch which was set up in May 2019) the founders of Caistor Cares decided to pursue charitable status for their service.
The announcement of the establishment of the official Lincolnshire Cares charity was made by founder Chris Robey at a special Christmas party organised at Caistor Town Hall for the town’s elderly community.
“I’m delighted to announce that our application to become an independent charity in our own right has been approved and this will now allow us to operate under the banner of Lincolnshire Cares,” said Chris on the occasion of the fourth annual event where talented performers from the town’s active community freely give their time to offer the town’s senior residents a festive-themed programme of entertainment.
“We will still be operating under the ‘Caistor Cares’ and ‘Kelsey Cares’ banners of course, but this positive news from the Charity Commission will hopefully allow us to extend our operations further to other towns and villages. I’d like to offer my thanks to our hard-working committee who have made this possible, and also to Friendship at Home for helping and supporting us in so many ways. Without them all, we’d have never been able to get things off the ground in the first place.”
After the announcement was made, the festive season celebrations got into full swing, with more than 100 local senior citizens being treated to a contemporary nativity performance by children from Encore Dance Academy, a school trio, then sea-shanties from the Caistorways group, and then a sing-a-long finale with carols from the Caistor Community Choir. Raffle prizes were kindly donated by local residents, and each guest was presented with a beautiful home-baked Christmas Box, made by Wendy Smith, made possible by the generosity of the RAOB, and also an Advent Calendar, courtesy of Ringtons of Market Rasen.
The official launch party for Lincolnshire Cares will take place in June next year, while the regular coffee mornings and other social events will continue throughout the year. For more information about this local voluntary organisation which offers friendship and support to people over the age of 60 in Caistor and the surrounding villages, please visit www.caistorcares.org or call Chris Robey on 01472 851189.
Open afternoon and weekly coffee mornings starting in mid-May
A new volunteer service offering friendship and support to older people in North and South Kelsey and the surrounding villages will be launched on Sunday 12 May, with a special Open Afternoon taking place at North Kelsey village hall from 2.30-4pm.
The befriending service is an extension of the ‘Caistor Cares’ voluntary organisation that was set up in 2016 to help older people in the Lincolnshire town and neighbouring villages who were feeling isolated and lonely, and unable to get out as much as they used to. The success of this volunteer community group – with its established befriending service, weekly social events and annual parties – has created a demand for extra support for senior citizens living further afield from Caistor, hence the establishing of this new ‘Kelsey Cares’ group.
“Having seen at first hand the friendly and caring service that Caistor Cares volunteers provide for the benefit of the town’s elderly residents, we wanted to offer a similar service in ‘the Kelseys’,” says new coordinator for Kelsey Cares, Jill Commander. “We thought that an Open Afternoon would be the best way for people to initially come along and find out how we can help them to connect with others in the area, make new friends and perhaps even regain lost confidence.
“We have booked the village hall in North Kelsey for the afternoon of Sunday 12 May and encourage all those over the age of 60 to come along from 2.30pm and enjoy complementary tea, coffee and cake, while finding out more about how our new and free befriending could help them feel less isolated and lonely. They can also find out more details about our free weekly coffee mornings, which will also be taking place in North Kelsey village hall every Friday from 10-11am, starting from 17 May.”
A number of volunteers have already expressed an interest in becoming ‘befrienders’, who will receive the necessary training and checks before being matched with ‘members’ (Kelsey senior citizens) whom they will then visit on a regular basis for conversation, company and support. Anyone who is interested in considering becoming a volunteer is also most welcome to come along to the Open Afternoon and find out more details.
For more information about the new Kelsey Cares befriending service and the forthcoming social events at the village hall, please visit www.kelseycares.org.uk or telephone Jill Commander on 01652 679119.
Caistor’s elderly residents were treated to a special film afternoon, courtesy of Caistor Community Cinema, which screened a special showing of The Italian Job, the classic 1960s comic caper movie about a daring plan to steal a huge gold shipment from the streets of Turin.
Around 30 senior citizens came along to Caistor Town Hall on the afternoon of 24 March to watch a youthful Michael Caine and his partners-in-crime mastermind the perfect heist, before escaping the Italian authorities in a trio of unforgettable Mini Coopers, a Land Rover and a bus.
The Caistor Cares film afternoon was made possible by the generosity of the team behind the Caistor Community Cinema, a voluntary group of film enthusiasts with a vision to bring the ‘big screen’ back to Caistor. With regular monthly film evenings already successfully up and running – and following a sell-out performance of Freddy Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody the previous evening – the screening equipment was already in place for Caistor Cares to show a film the next day.
“We were delighted at the turnout to our inaugural film afternoon and welcomed many familiar faces – and a few new ones – to a special showing of The Italian Job,” said Caistor Cares founder Chris Robey. “Our volunteers served tea and coffee before the film started and everyone in the audience was treated to ice cream during the interval!
“We had very positive feedback from all who came along so we’ll aim to do another screening later this year. I’d like to thank the fantastic team from Caistor Community Cinema for their time and generosity, our members for supporting the event and our volunteers who distributed the pre-event publicity and helped out on the day of course. I’m sure this can become a regular event in our calendar.”
The weekend of 12-13 May saw the start of one of the UK’s biggest ‘open churches’ festivals take place, with community groups in Caistor and the surrounding district — including Caistor Cares — invited to make displays and sculptures to help commemorate the end of WW1 and celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force.
West Lindsey is an area with a rich aviation heritage and a strong association with the RAF, and churches across the region were filled with poems and photographs capturing insights and stories of remembrance from the past century.
With around 50 churches open over the two weekends of the festival, the event was made possible by more than 700 volunteers across the region. In Caistor, volunteer Pat Harris asked all societies and groups in the town to contribute displays that would feature in the church of St. Peter and St. Paul. The impressive exhibition that resulted celebrated many residents’ recollections about their relatives’ experiences of the Great War and the RAF.
Volunteers from Caistor Cares also wanted to contribute a display and the idea of a sculpture incorporating floating poppies was raised at the weekly drop-in coffee mornings that take place in the Drakes Court building every Monday. Volunteer Terry Box provided a Sopwith Camel model bi-plane for the display, while Bob Oxley built a stand to house this famous British First World War single-seat fighter aircraft . The display was decorated with an array of poppies by Julia Whittaker, sourced from the Royal British Legion by organiser Pat Harris.
“We were delighted to contribute our little display to the church of St. Peter and St. Paul as part of the open churches festival,” said Caistor Cares coordinator Julia Whittaker. “Caistor Cares is a voluntary organisation, offering friendship and support to people over the age of 60 in Caistor and the surrounding district, and it was a great joint effort by volunteers to produce our own display. We were pleased that it featured alongside so many other interesting stories, photos and recollections from the past 100 years and helped raise donations for the Royal British Legion.”
If you missed the chance to visit the festival, many of the exhibits that featured in Caistor’s church of St. Peter and St. Paul will be displayed in the town’s Heritage Centre in a separate exhibition in November, to mark the end of WW1
After more than two years offering friendship and support to people over the age of 60 in and around the town, Caistor Cares is now looking to expand its area of operation and is seeking new members and volunteers in the surrounding Lincolnshire villages of Grasby, Searby and Owmby.
The voluntary organisation’s Befriending Service has seen around 20 ‘members’ personally matched to a volunteer ‘befriender’, allowing a friendship to develop and regular visits to take place. Now, this successful formula is being replicated to allow senior residents in the three aforementioned villages to take advantage of this free charitable service.
If you know of anyone over the age of 60 in Grasby, Searby or Owmby who could benefit from friendship and support, then please tell them about our dedicated and trusted, free service — and look out for the information leaflets which are being distributed in these villages imminently.
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