Totnes Caring is a registered charity and voluntary organisation that has been providing much needed support and assistance to vulnerable and older people, enabling them to live safely and independently at home, free from isolation, in Totnes and the surrounding area for over 31 years. They do this through a whole range of services and activities including transport, shopping, befriending, hospital discharge support, wellbeing and carers’ support, lunch clubs, home helps, assistance with paperwork, memory cafes and a variety of activity and support clubs. They currently have over 150 active volunteers and over 900 clients.
Their services might have changed in response to the needs created by the Covid-19 pandemic, but by working in close partnership with other local organisations and with the support of their exceptional team of volunteers, still include: transport to vital medical appointments including Covid vaccinations.; a ‘meals on wheels’ service supplying hot lunches at home seven days a week; a much enhanced shopping and prescription collection service and a new phone befriending initiative to help reduce isolation. Wellbeing work with clients and their families and hospital discharge support also still happen as does support for the carers of those living with dementia. The home help service has continued to provide a lifeline to many of their most vulnerable clients.
When hearing of the work carried out by the charity and the extra stresses on their finances caused by the pandemic, Ian Kingsbury JP. Provincial Grand Master of the Devonshire Freemasons came to their rescue with a grant of £15,000 given via the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) as did another branch of Freemasonry who also gave£500.
At a recent meeting with Clare Hill CEO & Mary Popham, Fundraising and Events Co-ordinator for Totnes Caring, Ian Kingsbury accompanied by Reuben Ayres said that the grant came as part of a £1 Million Covid Rescue Package which had been raised by Freemasons throughout the country since the beginning of the lockdown and he was so pleased to be able to help the vulnerable elderly and lonely people in the area through the good services of Totnes Caring. Ian thanked all the staff and volunteers for their unstinting work carried out in such difficult circumstances.
W Bro Clive Eden PAGDC
Provincial Grand Communications Officer