Befriending charity brings together 150 older neighbours for Coronation Celebration

21st April 2023

B:friend, a charity combatting loneliness and social isolation in South Yorkshire and parts of Derbyshire, is organising a special Coronation Party for 150 older locals, thanks to The National Lottery Community Fund.

Older neighbours from 11 b:friend Social Clubs across South Yorkshire will join the event to mark the Coronation of King Charles III on 10 May 2023 at The Ivanhoe Centre in Conisbrough. The celebration will include musical entertainment, a buffet, games, a raffle and the Big b:friend Coronation Quiz, where attendees can test their Royal-knowledge.

The Coronation Party is part of the charity's Let's Celeb:rate! project funded by The National Lottery Community Fund. The £9,991 grant enables b:friend to organise activities for their older beneficiaries to celebrate the King's Coronation and Eurovision 2023 and to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Windrush. 

Colette Bunker, b:friend CEO, said: "Our charity's mission is to re-engage over 65s with the community around them and to tackle the loneliness and isolation that many of them face every day. 

"This fantastic funding from The National Lottery Community Fund will allow us to bring together our older neighbours, many of whom would not have the chance to take part in the Coronation celebrations otherwise. We are so thrilled to organise an event where people can have a good time amongst friends, make new memories and connect with others."

B:friend currently supports around 1,000 older adults through 1:1 befriending and Social Clubs. Their befriender volunteers visit isolated older neighbours weekly for an hour for a chat and a cuppa. 

The charity also has a total of 11 Social Clubs across Doncaster, Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield. 

The Social Clubs have a different activity every week to boost meaningful community connections and well-being, from dancing and making mocktails to mindful crafts and creative writing. 

Brian, who attends the b:friend Wheatley Hills Social Club, said: "I really look forward to coming to the club on a Friday. Sometimes I don't speak to anyone for days."

Another Wheatly Hills Club member, Sandra, said: "It's fantastic this club, it really is. You've got everything. Exercise, quizzes... And I've met some friends!"

Florence, Bolton-on-Dearne Social Club member, said: "There's not a week I come here that I don't go home happy."

To find out more about b:friend, visit the charity’s website: https://www.letsbfriend.org.uk/

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