Representatives from Devonshire Freemasons and Age Concern North Devon

Devon’s Freemasons have given a grant of £15,000 to Barnstaple Age Concern to provide a form of guaranteed income for the next three years in support of the work they do.

Rural North Devon can be a big and lonely place for many, minimal public transport services, and big distances from hospitals and surgeries compound social isolation and vulnerability.

Barnstaple Age Concern services can offer assistance on a social and practical level. They aim to support older people and their carers to maintain as independent and full a life as possible. By offering practical support and social visits in the home they aim to support independent living and relieve loneliness and isolation. They keep older people well-informed of the support services available to them in North Devon with support, information and signposting for virtually every topic of interest that could affect you in later life. Including but not limited to: Benefits, Housing and Care, Support for Long-Term issues, Home Maintenance, and Legal issues.

If they can’t answer your enquiry, then they can usually ‘signpost’ you to someone that can. They understand that not everyone is online, and so much now relies on accessing services using IT, so being able to call into an office and receive information face to face, or over the telephone, is really helpful.

Around 300 people a week are assisted, but they still need more local volunteers to meet local need and reduce service waiting lists. Funding from Devonshire Freemasons will help maintain their staff of 6 part-time workers.

What residents of North Devon need is continuation of essential services in rural areas. What the Freemasons grant will allow us to do is provide a bedrock for ongoing services which are so needed here. In addition, funding from the Freemasons gives other funders the confidence to invest in Age Concern Barnstaple and North Devon, we are very grateful for the support.

Amanda Howard, CEO Age Concern North Devon

It’s been a real pleasure to meet the team here in Barnstaple, we’re so happy to be helping such a community based charity. Living myself in North Devon I can understand how some older residents can quickly feel isolated and need help. We’ve been really impressed by the range of services they offer here. Devonshire Freemasons are very happy to assist and engage.

W.Bro.Charlie Yelland, Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire Freemasons

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