Caistor Cares, the befriending service that was started by a small group of volunteers in 2016, has now received official charitable status from the Charity Commission and will soon operate under the ‘Lincolnshire Cares’ banner as it seeks to expand its service into other towns and villages in the county.
The community volunteering network aimed at reducing social isolation has been extremely well received among Caistor’s elderly residents, many of whom attend the regular coffee morning sessions, afternoon teas, film screenings and other varied social events. In addition, over 30 members take advantage of the group’s befriending service, which is offered to anyone over the age of 60.
Having also expanded this friendship and support network into many of the surrounding areas, (including the ‘Kelsey Cares’ branch which was set up in May 2019) the founders of Caistor Cares decided to pursue charitable status for their service.
The announcement of the establishment of the official Lincolnshire Cares charity was made by founder Chris Robey at a special Christmas party organised at Caistor Town Hall for the town’s elderly community.
“I’m delighted to announce that our application to become an independent charity in our own right has been approved and this will now allow us to operate under the banner of Lincolnshire Cares,” said Chris on the occasion of the fourth annual event where talented performers from the town’s active community freely give their time to offer the town’s senior residents a festive-themed programme of entertainment.
“We will still be operating under the ‘Caistor Cares’ and ‘Kelsey Cares’ banners of course, but this positive news from the Charity Commission will hopefully allow us to extend our operations further to other towns and villages. I’d like to offer my thanks to our hard-working committee who have made this possible, and also to Friendship at Home for helping and supporting us in so many ways. Without them all, we’d have never been able to get things off the ground in the first place.”
After the announcement was made, the festive season celebrations got into full swing, with more than 100 local senior citizens being treated to a contemporary nativity performance by children from Encore Dance Academy, a school trio, then sea-shanties from the Caistorways group, and then a sing-a-long finale with carols from the Caistor Community Choir. Raffle prizes were kindly donated by local residents, and each guest was presented with a beautiful home-baked Christmas Box, made by Wendy Smith, made possible by the generosity of the RAOB, and also an Advent Calendar, courtesy of Ringtons of Market Rasen.
The official launch party for Lincolnshire Cares will take place in June next year, while the regular coffee mornings and other social events will continue throughout the year. For more information about this local voluntary organisation which offers friendship and support to people over the age of 60 in Caistor and the surrounding villages, please visit www.caistorcares.org or call Chris Robey on 01472 851189.