Guernsey Voluntary Service has been granted funding of £58,540 over two years from the Lloyds Bank Foundation.
Guernsey Voluntary Service (GVS) provides vital services in Guernsey, and this new funding will help the charity with salary costs at its Jubilee Social Club.
The Jubilee Social Club, managed by Cheryl Lowe (pictured), is one of two GVS social clubs in Guernsey, and also serves as the administrative hub for the charity. It is from here that GVS manages the Island’s Meals on Wheels service, delivering around 25,000 meals a year.
Despite the effects of Covid, over 6,500 visits were made to the Jubilee Social Club in 2021 and 2022 by some 90 over 65s, with the majority attending once or twice a week. The Social Club, as well as being a place to meet and socialise over lunch, also provides hairdressing and other services together with more structured activities for those that wish to take part.
Mandy Le Bachelet General Manager at GVS said: “GVS is perhaps not a high-profile charity but it is a charity that provides vital services day after day through its Social Clubs and Meals on Wheels operation to people typically in, but not restricted to, the 65 and over bracket, who otherwise might feel somewhat isolated. The services we provide also give a boost to those who may need just a little help in keeping their independence, as well as providing a break for the primary carers of some of our clients.
“We are a charitable organisation, relying on donations to enable us to continue. We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received from Lloyds Bank Foundation towards the salary costs of the Jubilee Social Club. This will ensure the continuation and smooth running of the social club’s day-to-day services.
“Changing demographics on the island, combined with an increasing reliance on the charitable sector to provide services, means we anticipate an increased need for our services in the coming years.”
Ordinarily, GVS operates two social clubs in Guernsey, alongside the Meals on Wheels service and a transportation service for social club attendees. Throughout the pandemic, GVS implemented an outreach programme to help its clients stay connected. The charity must raise between £130,000-150,000 annually to continue its necessary work.
Jo Le Poidevin, Executive Director at Lloyds Bank Foundation, said: “GVS is a longstanding fixture in the charity sector offering vital services to ensure the wellbeing of older people in the Bailiwick. Its social clubs welcome more than 200 people each year (resulting in more than 6,000 visits in 2021 and 7,500 in 2022), providing a sense of community, safety and enjoyment for older people.
“GVS plugs a real gap for an often overlooked group of people who may otherwise be experiencing loneliness and isolation. The charity is well-established and run by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers, and we are very proud to be able to support them with this grant.”
Guernsey Voluntary Service operates the Jubilee Social Club in St Sampsons and the Russels Social Club in St Martins.