Crowland Cares charity provides a lifeline and is the envy of other areas
A charity that steps in to help when the community is in need is the envy of other areas.
Crowland Cares is a vital support network for the town’s residents and proved its worth again recently when running a minibus for people to access Post Office services when The Spar was forced to close after a ram raid.
The charity has been running for some 25 years to help ‘enhance residents’ lives’ by providing social activities.
Volunteer Sue Keeney, 74, has been involved with the charity for 10 years which currently runs a bingo event, coach trips to Christmas Markets and a seaside trip is planned in the summer.
However, it also provides more vital services such as taking residents to dental, doctor and hospital appointments.
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She said: “I man the telephone and we have an administrator who does the more formal work.
“It has changed over the years, with buddy schemes and in conjunction with the local doctors’ surgery – we are a charity in the community.”
Due to the closure of the Post Office, the charity’s committee acted fast to make sure residents can be transported to Werrington with a bus provided on a Monday.
Mrs Keeney said: “As a body of volunteers we like to think we can react to things accordingly and to things around us.
“The charity is to enhance residents’ lives in general – I feel in my experience in life we are quite unique in what we offer the community.
“People often say they would love to have something like this in their community.”
Now that a temporary Post Office counter has been introduced, the bus service will continue to be used for shopping trips.
Activities take place at the hub – where the old library was – including bingo and potentially a new craft club called Pins and Needles, visits to garden centres and flower shows.
A monthly lunch gathering takes place at the Methodist Church chapel on the first Friday of each month – with some 40 plus residents attending.
Mrs Keeney said: “The lunch club is very popular with an amazing cook who provides a three-course-meal and is quite adventurous with the menu.”
The charity also provides a voluntary car scheme taking people to hospitals as far afield as London and Cambridge or to the local optician.
Mrs Keeney is keen to point out that the service is for all ages and those who find themselves without the means of transport.
She added: “The group of volunteer drivers are amazing and the amount of people who are so grateful for our services – which are very sought after.
“There is a small contribution to the driver’s expenses but it is a door-to-door service and the driver will wait.”
Mrs Keeney’s decade-long dedication to the charity also provides her with a feeling of worth and contribution to the community.
She said: “Volunteering helps the volunteer to become useful and have a purpose in life.
“I feel quite privileged to be able to help people in the community.”
The weekly bus trip is every Monday at 1.30pm with a pick up to-and-from home – seats must be booked via the office by the previous Friday. Call 01733 211797. A donation of £3 per journey per person is suggested. For further information visit Crowland Cares and Crowland Chatter on Facebook.