Severn Trent funding helps older people in Warwick find companionship and wellbeing
By Kathy Wheeler
12th Feb 2024 | Local News
Local community charity The Gap is "delighted" to have been awarded £20,000 from the Severn Trent Community Fund Core Funding to support its vital work helping older Warwick residents find companionship and wellbeing in later life.
The independently funded charity, which helps over 60's in Warwick live their best life into old age and avoid loneliness, will use the cash to support the running costs for its older adults Gap Goldies activities for 12 months.
The money will be used to cover overheads, including water utilities, for the weekly programme delivered from The Gap community centre at 39 Oakwood Grove near Spinney Hill.
Few people know The Gap is a charity, which gained its name when it was launched in 2000 to bridge the gap between younger and older people.
Alongside youth clubs and a community centre, it has been running older adults' activities since its first Lunch Club began 20 years ago.
Since then, it has expanded to run a weekly Gap Goldies programme of six low-cost wellbeing and companionship activities to help older people make new friends, improve their physical and mental health, and their overall quality of life.
Gap Goldies is for anyone over 60 and includes Computer Café IT help, Live Life exercise and social group, Lunch Club hot meal and Bingo, Knit 'n' Natter coffee morning, ActiviTea social group, and coming soon, new Indoor Short Mat Bowling.
The Gap director Marcos Campos said: "We're delighted the Severn Trent Community Fund Core Funding has recognised our important work.
"We're thankful for the funding as we'll be able to continue to provide opportunities for older people to meet and enjoy community togetherness in Warwick.
"The activities are vital because they help older people avoid loneliness and isolation, which can be as damaging to health and long life as smoking and obesity."
Severn Trent Community Fund Core Funding awards money to local projects, charities and community groups to support three main elements of community wellbeing - people, places, and environment.
Over five years, from 2020, the regional water utility company has been giving away £10 million to help make a real and tangible difference to wellbeing in our communities. Successful applicants are selected by an independent panel of Severn Trent customers.
The funding is especially important because small charities such as The Gap find it difficult to secure grants for day-to-day overheads.
It will help ensure The Gap's activities will continue, which have been described as "lifesaving" and "a reason to get out of bed in the morning" by elderly adults who may not see many people in their daily lives after friends and spouses have passed away.
Gap Goldies participant Jennie Phillips added: "When my husband passed away in 2020 coming to The Gap kept me from being sad and staying in all the time.
"Everyone is so friendly, kind, and helpful, and I truly could not manage everyday life if I couldn't come to The Gap."