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Linkwell Billingborough 13

We all need a helping hand from time to time, but it’s not always easy to find. 

Loneliness and isolation can be a problem for lots of older people in their communities. Transport to health appointments or shops may be tricky, or they might need an extra hand with household tasks.

Sometimes, it’s simply having someone to chat to and laugh with. 

That’s why we raised money for social inclusion charities and almost 50 local lunch clubs, from December last year until March this year, through our Community Champions scheme. 

These organisations and groups bring communities together to offer a wide range of services, friendship and support to older residents. 

In Lincolnshire, volunteers are stepping up to provide transport, run errands or just lend an ear through Good Neighbour Schemes set up by Community Lincs, one of the charities that we supported.

In North East Lincolnshire, Friendship at Home runs workshops and sessions, ranging from bingo to exercise classes.

Newark Live at Home and Age UK North Lincolnshire was also supported by our fundraising, along with luncheon clubs across our trading area. They provide space for friends to get together for a hearty meal and hours of laughs.

And by helping them all through our Community Champions scheme, more people benefit can now from them.

Here’s how we supported them, together...

Our travel branches collected Christmas gifts throughout November last year.

From puzzles to chocolate, generous holidaymakers donated some wonderful presents that were given out by our travel colleagues to put a smile on someone’s face.

We donated Christmas food and drink to lunch clubs and Christmas dinners to add some seasonal sparkle, and colleagues gave a hand.

A donation was made through the Community Champions scheme every time a member shopped in a Lincolnshire Co-op outlet with their dividend card. Colleague fundraising and the carrier bag levy also went into the pot. 

Shoppers helped our fundraising by buying a raffle ticket for £1 at one of our outlets – and won some huge prizes!

An Apple iPad Pro, a Samsung television and an Eden Hall spa day for two were among the items up for grabs.

We support a network of health walks which bring people together to enjoy fresh air, exercise and forge new friendships.

As part of our work to support social inclusion groups, we raised awareness about the walks and the friendship, laughter and health benefits they bring.

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