The Cornwater Friendship and Memory Clubs have been serving the rural Nottinghamshire communities of Blidworth, Rainworth and Ravenshead for over fifteen years. The Clubs aim to provide friendship and activities on a regular or occasional basis for local older people. The average age of their members is 84.
Members benefit through improved health, both physical and mental, which helps to ward off illness and injury and improves their quality of life. The social interaction of activities benefits members' mental health and reduces loneliness, and members are able to gain new skills.
We helped this charity with a grant of £1,000 towards members’ activities. The spending of the grant was delayed due to the Covid-19 restrictions, but the Cornwater Evergreens Friendship and Memory clubs continued to maintain contact and monitor their members’ wellbeing.
As restrictions eased they were able to open for a limited time with a limited number of members, delivering normal in-house activities. Members could again take part in stimulating and enjoyable activities at each Club session.
Each daily session included at least two activities, delivered by trained external providers from the local community. The activities included physical exercise sessions, pottery, flower arranging, singing, music therapy and arts and crafts.
Unfortunately the opening only lasted a few short weeks before further restrictions closed them down again. The charity then adapted their parcels to members to concentrate on activity bags and introduced themes such as “Bon Appetit”, “In the Garden”, and “A little bit of snap”. The activity packs contained CDs, recipe cards, quizzes, Sudoku, colouring pages and competitions, all linked to the themes.
The charity has noticed a deterioration in their members since they have not been able to regularly attend, which is in part a natural deterioration but also due to the lack of social interaction and friendships that the clubs bring.