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£52,000 of support for Age UK Norwich and Local Pensioners

Norwich pensioners living in poverty will get help and support thanks to Norfolk Freemasons
More than 200 local older people living in poverty will receive vital support thanks to a grant of £52,000 from Norfolk Freemasons to the Age UK Norwich charity.
Norwich has around 30,000 residents aged over 65 who experience poverty, isolation and ill-health – living in some of the most deprived wards in the county. In these areas, life expectancy is nearly a decade (8.8 years) lower when compared to other areas in the city. Age UK Norwich is targeting these areas as a priority, helping with financial, housing and debt as well as improving health, wellbeing and independence.
Thanks to the Freemasons’ grant, Age UK will be targeting Lakenham ward in the south east of the city, one of Norwich’s most deprived areas. The charity will form a multi-disciplinary team to target older people within the ward, providing vital information and advice, especially in the following areas:
Statutory and civic benefit entitlement—e.g. pension credit, single occupancy housing tax discounts, Personal Attendance Allowance for carers.
Encouraging and reporting housing or landlord issues—experience shows, this is a common area of issue for older people living in poor living conditions who feel unable to challenge issues.
Promoting Health Coaching Support—raising the profile of the charity’s Health Coaching programme and Healthy Ageing campaign.
Providing access to Hardship Support—coordinating with local agencies, such as Norwich Foodbank, and Norwich Credit Union to provide emergency hardship support for people in financial crisis. For example, purchasing equipment, digital enablement, fuel and food vouchers.
Community Solutions—providing volunteer connection to help those who live alone to re-connect to their community and have additional support for activities for health or wellbeing.  This includes activity befriending, companionship and support for shopping or transport.

The new Age UK team will work together to raise the visibility of health and welfare through telephone, postal and direct community marketing; and coordinating engagement with referral partnerships such as One Norwich Primary Care Network, Dementia Cafes and other charities.
Based on their previous work and experience, Age UK expects that 90 per cent of older people with whom they will be working will feel more confident about dealing with their problems; 50 per cent will feel more able to do the things they enjoyed; 60 per cent will feel less isolated or lonely; 66 per cent will feel able to sleep better; and 90 per cent will feel their health and wellbeing has improved.
The grant from Norfolk Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Jamie Price, Head of Operations at Age UK Norwich, said:
“We’re very grateful to Norfolk Freemasons for their generous grant which will give Age UK Norwich a unique opportunity to make a real difference to some of the most vulnerable people in the city. This is vital work helping these older residents in our community with health and wellbeing at a very difficult time.”
Stephen Allen, Head of Norfolk Freemasons, said:
I’m really pleased we’ve been able to help Age UK Norwich. With over a quarter of the city’s residents over 65 years experiencing poverty and all the problems that go with it, there’s never been such a need for the services this excellent charity provides.”

£60,000 Support for a YMCA project

Single parent families in Norwich will get help and support thanks to Norfolk Freemasons
18th May 2023

Around 100 formerly homeless people from young single parent families will be given the support they need to move on with their lives, thanks to a grant of £60,000 from Norfolk Freemasons to YMCA Norfolk.
This project will support vulnerable and hard to reach single parent families by providing a dedicated Family Engagement Worker to provide a range of support, activities and opportunities to ensure a brighter future for them and their children. The project will be tailored to the young people’s strengths and aspirations, enabling them to address poor social mobility, parenting skills, improve physical, emotional and mental health, reduce loneliness and isolation and sustain independent living. 
The support on offer will likely include counselling, parenting skills, financial literacy, life skills, creating peer support networks and much more over a period of up to two years. The aim is to get them into a position to be ready to pass the local authority assessment for placement into council accommodation, and give them the skills and tools they need to maintain independence and not go back into the ‘system’. Many of these parents are care leavers themselves, and risk their own children following in their footsteps into the cycle of care. They are referred into YMCA accommodation by social services, are aged 16-25 themselves and all have young children.
YMCA Norfolk have designed the programme using research with their intended beneficiaries, with research showing 90 per cent requested community based social and peer support groups, while 80 per cent requested practical support like budgeting and education and employment support. The project’s success will be measured on the number of families successfully avoiding children being taken into care, and instead successfully accessing social housing.
The grant from Norfolk Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
John Lee, YMCA Norfolk CEO, said “We are very grateful to Norfolk Freemasons for their generous grant which will allow us to give support to single parent families that is designed to change the course of their lives. The aim is to get them into social housing, equipped with the skills they need to become independent – and we could not do this without the support of the Norfolk Freemasons.”
Stephen Allen, Head of Norfolk Freemasons, said:
“I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help YMCA Norfolk with their excellent project to help local one parent families. The parenting and financial skills on offer are potentially life-changing, giving them a chance of real independence, where the children can hope to take full advantage of their education and break the cycle of depravation that has blighted their parents’ lives.”

Norwich City Community Sports Foundation

The Norwich City Community Sports Foundation recieved a grant of £45,000 from Norfolk Freemasons and the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

Local children at risk of gang involvement and school exclusion will receive help and support through sport thanks to Norfolk Freemasons
17th May 2023
Hundreds of local children will be helped to avoid youth crime, gang involvement and exclusion from school, thanks to a grant of £45,000 from Norfolk Freemasons to the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation.
The Foundation’s Onside Project uses the power of sport and physical activity to break the cycle of violent youth crime, reducing poor mental wellbeing and risk of school exclusions, and to also bring families closer together.
Over the last three years the Foundation has worked with over 200 children and their families, and during the next three years they will work with a further 360 children and approximately 120 families, thanks to the Freemasons’ grant.
The onside project was developed in partnership with Norfolk County Council Children’s Services (NCCCS), Youth Offending Teams and Norfolk Police in 2019. It is delivered as an early intervention with the aim of tackling the issues in early years which has the potential to lead into more violent adult behaviour and other associated behaviours. Foundation staff work alongside NCCCS case workers, meet the family, and deliver interventions that include physical activity as the main ‘hook’, which develop into learning skills such as communication and teamwork. The charity also run behavioural and educational exercises, including awareness of drugs/alcohol, violence and gangs, nutrition, mental wellbeing, and additional maths and English support. The new funding from Norfolk Freemasons will help them expand from their core work in Norwich and Great Yarmouth to include Thetford and Dereham

The grant from Norfolk Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Toby Nickerson, the Foundation’s Community Development Manager, said:
“We’re extremely thankful to Norfolk Freemasons for their generous grant, which will allow us to continue supporting some of the county’s most disadvantaged children and families through our one-to-one delivery with our skilled Youth Worker’s”.
Stephen Allen from Norfolk Freemasons, said:“I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Norwich City Community Sports Foundation with their hugely valuable project to break the cycle of violent youth offending and gang involvement. They will help children by improving their mental health and reducing their chances of being excluded from school while at the same time helping the whole community by reducing overall crime.”

Festival Poppy Ball

We are delighted to announce that bookings are now open for the upcoming Festival Poppy Ball, to be held on Saturday 11th November 2023 at Caistor Hall Hotel, Norwich.

This Black Tie event promises to be an evening of luxury, celebration and entertainment. Please find attached an event flier, on which you will find further details, including the menu options for dining. 

Book your tickets online via this link:

Tickets are £67.50 per person, with 10 per table. Any individual attendees will be seated with others on a table of 10. 

You can do one of two things: 

1. Confirm your table reservation. 
This is done by including the details for 2 people, at the time of booking, and sending a £135 deposit (covering the cost of the 2 tickets). Then you can re-visit the link at a later time to confirm your remaining table guests and menu choices. 

2. Confirm your complete booking (incl individual tickets).
This is done by completing the details for all the guests at the table, including menu choices. Then sending payment for the full amount.

Please book early as this event will be sold on a first come basis and we are limited to 400 tickets.

Details regarding the Auction lots will be sent out nearer to the date of the Ball.

Yours Sincerely & Fraternally

Steve Bennington

The Festival Poppy Ball Chairman

W. Bro Steve Bennington
07850 038323