Lincolnshire Cares receives charitable status

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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 or call Chris Robey on 01472 851189.

‘Kelsey Cares’ to launch new befriending service

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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 or telephone Jill Commander on 01652 679119.

Caistor Cares goes to the movies!

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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.”

Caistor Cares helps celebrate ‘open churches’ festival

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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

Caistor Cares is spreading its wings

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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.

Caistor Cares receives Age UK approval

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Caistor Cares is delighted to report that it has received official approval from Age UK, the UK’s largest charity working with and for older people. This seal of approval means that Age UK is actively referring older people in the local area to Caistor Cares, with a view to them possibly benefitting from our befriending service aimed at reducing social isolation.

The two organisations share similar aims, albeit it on different levels. Age UK’s mission nationally is to help everyone make the most of later life — a vision that is shared on a local level by Caistor Cares, which offers befriending through home visits to an increasing number of residents in Caistor, as well as hosting weekly coffee mornings and regular social events for the town’s senior citizens.

If you know somebody who could benefit from our free service, then please contact Caistor Cares founder Chris Robey on 01472 851189

Sell-out success for Burns Night fundraiser

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Caistor Cares recently celebrated that famous institution of Scottish life — Burns Night — with a packed gathering of locals and dignitaries assembling in the Town Hall to celebrate the life and works of the Scottish Bard, Robert Burns.

The many attendees were welcomed in by a traditional piper and once the host (Caistor Cares founder Chris Robey) had warmly greeted the guests, the evening’s entertainment began. The Selkirk Grace was read by Caistor’s local Scotsman Jimmy Dutch, shortly followed by the Piping in the Haggis, several toasts and the all-important Address to a Haggis, read by Mark Colebrook.

A tasty meal, prepared by many different volunteers and served up by the local Scouts, included a traditional main course of Haggis, ‘neeps & tatties’. This was followed by a selection of prepared desserts, kindly, cooked, baked and freshly supplied on the day by many who gave their time freely to help this worthwhile cause.

There was a traditional Ceilidh that inspired many of the party-goers on to their feet for a spot of traditional dancing and by the time that the carriages turned up (or taxis arrived!) to take people home, the overriding feeling was that the townsfolk had done Robbie Burns proud.

“It was a memorable evening for all concerned and and an important fundraiser for this local charity,” said Chris Robey. “I’d like to thank those involved who contributed their time, culinary skills, raffle prizes, musical skills and much more — and each and everyone who came along and supported the event of course. I’ve been told it was one of the best nights ever at the Town Hall, so this will be a hard act to follow. More importantly though, it gave us a chance to raise the profile of Caistor Cares within the wider community, which will help us moving forwards.”

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.orgor call Chris Robey on 01472 851189.

A caffeine-fuelled runaway success

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In the first six months of operation, the Caistor Cares free coffee mornings have been declared a runaway success by many of the town’s elderly residents, who support this weekly social get-together every Monday morning.

Since they began last September, the hour-long informal gatherings have been well attended by an increasing number of ladies — and gentlemen — keen to make new friendships in the town, catch up on all the latest news and of course enjoy the free cups of coffee and tea on offer, as well as a few biscuits and the chance of winning the monthly raffle!

One of the newer recruits, a gentlemen in his seventies, commented: “I was a little apprehensive about coming along initially but I needn’t have worried. I was welcomed by everyone and there are always plenty of interesting folk to talk to. I was surprised by how many gentlemen attend too; I’ve already met some nice chaps and thoroughly look forward to Monday mornings now — it’s one of the highlights of my week.”

The Caistor Cares coffee mornings are held every Monday morning at Drakes Court (next to Southdale flats, near the petrol station) from 10-11am. Everyone over 60 is welcome and more information is available from Angela Clark on 01472 85274.

Caistor Cares Launches Coffee Mornings

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Caistor Cares has launched free coffee mornings every Monday.

The organisation already offers befriending through home visits to a number of people in Caistor but it was felt that a weekly social event would add to this service.

This follows the great success of the parties that the Group has held in the Town Hall. Around 100 people attended each of these which included a tea and entertainment from various local groups.

The first coffee morning on 11th September coincided with a huge rainstorm but a good number of people turned out to enjoy the friendship that was on offer. Chris Robey, Chair of Caistor Cares welcomed everyone to the first event, saying how delighted he was to see so many people there.

The coffee mornings are being held every Monday morning at Drakes Court, next to Southdale flats from 10.00 – 11.00 am. Everyone over 60 is welcome to these drop-in sessions and there is no need to book a place.

Further information is available from Angela Clark on 01472 852749