The annual Kent Community Foundation Surviving Winter Campaign raises awareness of the many issues the elderly face during the colder months and asks for donations to support those organisations who offer a service for older people.
One group that the Surviving Winter Campaign might help is Wellbeing Link. The organisation run by almost forty volunteers, hosts weekly support groups in Dartford and Northfleet which offer a safe and friendly space to meet and make friends while reducing feelings of isolation. The average age of the people attending the support groups is 71 and they benefit from advice on nutrition, exercise, legal and financial advice and can have complementary therapies including massage, reflexology, osteopathy, and chiropody.
Last month Kent Community Foundation awarded Wellbeing Link £4,000 to use towards the ongoing costs of providing this valuable service. The funding will be used to help with room hire costs, volunteer expenses, stationery, a new shredder and a blue tooth speaker and monthly website maintenance.
Sue Woodley, Managing Director, Wellbeing Link, said, “ Wellbeing Link makes a positive difference to the lives of our members. We find that they are less stressed, better able to make improvements to their lives, especially their health and benefit from being part of a caring and supportive community. We are delighted to frequently hear stories about how our therapies or advice have helped our members and receiving these testimonials and knowing we are making a big difference to lives underscores just how important volunteering is.”
Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said, “Kent Community Foundation has been supporting Wellbeing Link since 2018 and over that time has awarded them a total of £19,660 in grants. We cannot underestimate how important this support for older people who could have medical, mental, or emotional issues and often have little or no family support and may well live alone is. Our Surviving Winter Campaign is designed to open conversations about the support that the elderly need, reduce the staggering number of avoidable winter deaths and highlight the support that is available from organisations like Wellbeing Link.”
To learn more about the work Kent Community Foundation does visit www.kentcf.org.uk
About Avoidable Winter Deaths
Excess winter deaths (EWDs) or excess winter mortality (EWM) are measured by an EWM index, and this index varies significantly across Kent and Medway over the 2017/18 winter period. The average for Kent & Medway is 29.6, in line with the average for England. The highest EWM Index is in Tunbridge wells (41.3) followed by Folkestone and Hythe (40.2). The lowest is in Dover (20.8). Overall, the total number of EWDs for Kent and Medway was 1,610 in 2017/18
About Wellbeing Link
Wellbeing Link is a non-profit community project providing support for people with life-affecting conditions.
About the Surviving Winter Campaign
The Kent Community Foundation Surviving Winter Campaign asks those, who are able, to donate their Winter Fuel Payment, or whatever they can, to help older people across Kent and Medway.
Donations can be made online at www.kentcf.org.uk/give/surviving-winter or by cheque to Kent Community Foundation (FAO Susan Blay and clearly marked on the back for the Surviving Winter Campaign with your name and address). Please post to Kent Community Foundation, Evegate Park Barn, Evegate Business Park, Ashford, Kent, TN25 6SX.
About Kent Community Foundation
Grant-maker Kent Community Foundation has been finding, funding, and supporting some of the smallest voluntary organisations in the county for twenty years. In this time, it has distributed over £45 million to support thousands of small charities and deserving causes where a modest sum of money can make a significant impact.
They are part of a UK wide accredited network of forty-seven Community Foundations who are committed to improving the lives of local people and communities, particularly the most vulnerable, isolated, and disadvantaged by matching those who want to help, with those who need the help.
Responsible for more than eighty philanthropic funds, Kent Community Foundation is unrivalled in its knowledge of local causes and assists individuals, families, and businesses, who want to help, to establish and administer their own charitable funds.