Grantham senior citizens delighted with £15,000 funding for new premises

Artist's impression of the new Reel cinema complex to be built in Grantham. EMN-140814-105847001
Artist's impression of the new Reel cinema complex to be built in Grantham. EMN-140814-105847001
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Senior citizens have been awarded a further £15,000 to help fit out their new meeting place which will form part of the new cinema complex to be built in Grantham next year.

Grantham Senior Citizens Club has received £10,000 from the National Lottery, Awards For All, and £5,000 from the Evan Cornish Grassroots Fund, administered by Community Foundation Lincolnshire.

Ted Foxall, Business Advisor and Business and Dementia Champion at the club, said the £5,000 award is specifically to fit out the kitchen and coffee bar area in the new building. This will allow the club to provide hot meals for the pensioners attending the Tuesday social gathering and also before the Wednesday bingo.

The National Lottery grant is specifically for the Performing Arts area. This grant is to install a PA & music system, stage lighting, an overhead projector, cabling and installation. The area will have a small stage and make the larger room more amenable for annual meetings, amateur rehearsals, training, singing groups, small group concerts and meetings.

An award made three years ago by Community Care of the Elderly when it closed will be used for fitting out the small office, store, providing the removable stage and curtains to the stage area. The office and store will be dual use and also act as small changing areas when needed by the performers.

Club chairperson Sandra Bird said that although the team has worked extremely hard to raise these funds there were time constraints to make sure the money was all expended by fixed dates. She said the club is dependent on its small part of the project being completed by June 2015 and it looks forward to the day when members can move in and open the building for use by the whole community.

Mr Foxall said the club does not yet have enough funds to buy new conference chairs, folding tables, whist and bridge tables that are needed. The club has since its opening in 1965 always been a home for the whist playing members who play twice a week and make up a large section of the membership.

The club still needs to raise about £7,800. Mr Foxall added: “Any help would be most welcome. We have identified possible sources for these additional funds but are currently waiting finalisation of the new lease which is with solicitors to agree the wording.”

The whole ethos of the club is to maintain a facility available for hire by the voluntary sector and others, at rates which allows the organisation to continue as in the past 50 years, self-sufficient, self-funding and sustainable without public funding. Mr Foxall said the club’s intention is to maintain itself with a nominal membership fee of £1 per month for as long as possible.

For this reason alone new members are always welcome at the Senior Citizens Club,

Mr Foxall said: “We class anyone over 45 as senior and remind everyone if you don’t use it you’ll lose it. Why not join now.”

There is a Thursday Club which is for carers and is open to all ages who undertake a caring role in the community. The first Thursday in the month is for carers only but on the other Thursdays the ‘Cared For’ are also welcome. The club offers help and advice and can help to find the right professional assistance when it is needed. Anybody is welcome to drop in, have a tea or coffee and pick up leaflets on a wide range of subjects.