Crossroads Care Surrey has been awarded a grant of £18,000 by Surrey Freemasons to support its community volunteer, befriending and outreach support programme.
This project was originally set up last year to support carers and those most vulnerable, living alone and isolated during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The programme supports carers by helping them build new friendships and connections within their own community, through befriending calls, developing online skills, and helping carers to connect virtually so that they can learn to join online community groups and activities, as well as learning to do essential shopping and banking.
Paul Crockett, who works with the Surrey Freemasons’ charity team, said: “The opportunity to support organisations like Crossroads Care is hugely important to us. The community volunteer befriending and outreach programme is a project that will resonate with our members, many of whom also volunteer and help within their local communities.”
For those who cannot get out because they are shielding or caring full-time, the charity, based in Leatherhead, Surrey, will help by picking up food shopping and helping with prescription medication collection.
This grant is part of a wider £715,000 Freemasons project to help up to 33,000 adult, young and parent carers across the UK. This includes providing 870 young carers with respite through activities and breaks, while 760 young carers are being provided with essential items and life skills.
Elsewhere, almost 100 schools are receiving assistance to identify hidden young carers and provide them with much-needed support. In total, more than 1,800 young carers are receiving advice, support, and information through this project.
Terry Hawkins, CEO of Crossroads Care Surrey, said: “We are so grateful to Surrey Freemasons for the incredible work they do at a local level, raising vital funds to support the needs of those most vulnerable, including unpaid carers who are a ‘hidden group’ of unsung heroes, who take care of their loved ones round-the-clock.
“These funds will support our ongoing work to recruit an army of volunteers, who help local carers to access services that complement existing respite care in the home and community in Surrey. This is the second grant we have received from Surrey Masons in recent years. They also support our caring families who have children with care needs to access respite breaks.”