Charity backing for neighbour scheme
The Royal Voluntary Service (formerly WRVS) has been awarded £50,000 by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity to fund the establishment of a county-wide Good Neighbours Scheme for older people in Herefordshire.
The project will support one hundred older vulnerable people at home, providing practical help and companionship and using trained volunteers. Herefordshire RVS will require an additional fifty volunteers, over and above their existing 500 volunteers, to promote this new venture. In the words of George Driver, RVS local Service Manager, the scheme will enable the elderly receiving this support 'to retain their independence, give them choice, provide them with the opportunity of involvement, and positively encourage a feeling of being valued.'
Speaking about the donation, the Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, The Rev David Bowen, said: 'The wellbeing of the older members of our local community is of real importance to Herefordshire Freemasons and we are therefore delighted to support the Royal Voluntary Service with this grant to establish the Good Neighbours Scheme in this county. In other areas around Britain such schemes have shown real benefits and positive outcomes. This scheme will enrich the lives of the older people in our county.'
Claire Print, Locality Manager RVS Herefordshire, emphasised that 'We are very grateful for this substantial support from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity to set up a vital Good Neighbours Scheme in Herefordshire. Good Neighbours volunteers will make a huge difference to the lives of older people who find getting out and about difficult. Knowing that there is a friendly face willing to help will have a real impact on the wellbeing of older people who use the service.'
The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is a grant-making charity dedicated to supporting people in need. The charity provides grants totalling about £8 million annually in areas of medical research, support for vulnerable people, youth opportunities, hospice services, air ambulances and disaster relief, as well as providing assistance to Freemasons and their dependants in financial need.