Northumberland Freemasons Support Assists With Combating Loneliness For The Elderly

04th February 2021

Northumberland Freemasons have donated £500 to assist with combating loneliness during the Covid-19 Pandemic.  

Loneliness is an increasing challenge that affects many people as they age. MHA North Shields Live at Home Scheme aims to combat loneliness and isolation among older people by offering daily lunch clubs, activity afternoons, intergenerational sessions and trips, in North Shields and Whitley Bay, for those who, through their age, have fewer friends and reduced support, or little or no family contact.

Due to the ongoing pandemic the charity has had to pause all face to face contact with their members, the majority of whom are over 80 years old, and have had to move to a telephone befriending service which the grant will assist with.

‘MHA Communities North Tyneside has supported 135 older people in North Tyneside who have lost their social contact due to the pandemic. When Covid-19 restrictions forced us to suspend all of our groups and move to telephone befriending, we also lost all of our funding from member contributions and community fundraising. As most of our members are over 80, the donation from the Richard Henry Holmes Masonic Benevolent Fund enables us to continue our work, offering a lifeline to people who, because of their age and health issues, are among the most vulnerable in society. We would like to thank them for their support.’ explained Barbara Harland, Scheme Manager, MHA Communities North Tyneside.

The £500 grant forms part of the latest donations provided by Northumberland Freemasons through the Richard Henry Holmes Benevolent Fund which has given more than £160,000 in 2020.  

Stuart Cairns, the Provincial Grand Secretary for Northumberland Freemasons, said “MHA Communities North Tyneside is part of Methodist Homes (MHA) a national charity for older people, dedicated to enabling older people to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible, and helping them to live later life well in their local communities.

The staff and 53 volunteers at the North Shields branch of MHA provide a vital contact service to 135 members and we were delighted to donate £500 in support of the care and service that the Team provides to the local community”.

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