£5k donation to provide companionship for older people in Lincoln

The Age UK charity in Lincoln has received a donation of £5,500 to bridge the loneliness gap for older people in the city.

The Winter Bridge Tournament Committee presented a cheque to volunteers at the Age UK Lincoln centre on Park Street after dedicating a series of fundraising to the charity.

The donation will be used to fund the charity’s free befriending service which offers someone to talk to over the phone or a home visit for people who are socially isolated.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Sam Hotson, Volunteer Co-ordinator at Age UK Lincoln, said: “Demand for our volunteer services is increasing year on year as people are living longer.

“Last year our dedicated befriending volunteers provided around 2,000 visits and spent over 280 days talking to people who would otherwise be socially isolated.

“The donation will cover the cost of around 1,100 befriending volunteer visits!

“Recent studies show that around a million older people are termed ‘chronically lonely’, which can significantly increase their risk of suffering from mental and physical illnesses.

“We are extremely grateful for the generous donation we’ve received from The Winter Bridge Tournament Committee because it will make a difference to a lot of people’s lives.”

The Winter Bridge Tournament Committee, which has been running for almost 20 years, arranged a six-month bridge tournament and a lunch in April to raise the funds for the charity.

Some 220 people took part in the tournament across the county, each paying a £20 entry fee to play for the year.

Nicola Denby, Chairman of The Winter Bridge Tournament Committee, said: “We encourage people to take part in our bridge tournament because it is a fun and sociable game which brings people of all ages together around the county.

“As a committee we really appreciate the work that Age UK Lincoln does for our community, and we’re delighted to be able to support the charity in its fight against loneliness.”

Age UK Lincoln also offers a range of services to help people live independently at home including information and advice, personal care and gardening services. For further information contact Age UK Lincoln on 01522 696000.