Gloucestershire County Council has awarded us £5,000 from its Build Back Better scheme, a County Councillor led community initiative grant programme, thanks to the support of Gloucestershire County Councillor and Leader of Cotswold District Council, Cllr Joe Harris.
We will use the funding towards the running of our Independence Support Service, which supports older people and vulnerable people who are isolated, alone, frail or have age-related health conditions and may have resulting anxiety or mental health challenges, compounded by the pandemic.
The service was launched in July 2021 in response to an immediate post-pandemic need from our older and vulnerable clients. We noticed that a significant number had lost confidence and capability as a result of prolonged isolation during the pandemic lockdowns.
To help ensure that we could continue running the service into 2023 and beyond, we applied to the Build Back Better fund, which has been set up to support communities to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The result was the £5,000 grant, supported by Cllr Joe Harris, which is helping us to provide practical support to clients, alleviating their loneliness, boosting their confidence and wellbeing, and improving their quality of life.
Our volunteers support people to do their own shopping and pick up prescriptions, attend medical appointments, go for walks, join local groups and learn useful IT skills.
One Cotswold Friends Independence Support Service Client, Derek, said:
“I first contacted Cotswold Friends as I required transport to be taken to Brockworth for the Covid test. After that, I thought I should be wanting further help and I contacted the charity once more.
“Cotswold Friends came to my rescue and made contact to fix me up with a Careline pendant alarm very quickly indeed. They also dealt with the Blue Badge for me - completed the form and took the photo.
“I have to say that as I am very deaf, I was very relieved that I could get help from Cotswold Friends and I have no hesitation to recommend them as they are so willing to help.”
For more information, contact Louise Lapworth, Marketing Manager & Fundraiser, email [email protected].
We are extremely grateful for the Build Back Better grant funding.