Residents of Karbon’s sheltered scheme Ferndale Court, in Consett, had a Christmas party to remember last year thanks to the help of neighbours and sisters, Marie Breen and Joan Hartill.
Through Karbon’s Older Person’s fund, the sisters applied for a small grant to fund the scheme’s annual Christmas bash, meaning all residents could enjoy a hot buffet and entertainment in the communal lounge, free of charge.
Marie said: “It was the scheme coordinator, Sheila, who told me about the new fund, and I thought it would be great to apply to see whether it could cover the cost of the party this year. She helped me fill out the application and I was delighted to hear back from Stacey to say that we had been successful.
The £150 grant, covered the cost of the food and the entertainment, as well as some added extras such as Christmas crackers and decorations.
Marie added: “Ferndale is a lovely place to live. I was the first person to move into the scheme 19 odd years ago and I still love living here. It’s a very social place and there’s lots of activities going on all year round. We have bingo nights, and pie and peas suppers, so there’s something for everyone to get involved with.
“Events like the Christmas party are really important, as they keep everyone together. A few of the residents struggle to get out and about so having something happening just downstairs from their flat is great, and everyone is welcome to invite family members so they can come celebrate with us all.”
The Older Person’s fund was set up by the Retirement Living and Community Investment teams in response to an increase in enquiries from resident living in Karbon’s sheltered schemes for financial support with activities and events.
Stacey Dobson, one of Karbon’s Community Connectors, said: “Parties like the one at Ferndale Court were the type of activities we wanted to be able to support, but due to the requirements needed to access our ‘Investing in Communities’ grant fund, we were unable to offer anything.
“We’ve worked in partnership with the Retirement Living team to develop the Older Person’s fund, a pot of money that can go towards funding one off activities and events, or buying communal items/equipment, which help build stronger communities within our sheltered schemes.”