Help the most vulnerable in Essex this Winter

27th October 2023

  • As the UK population is living longer, the number of people suffering from loneliness is increasing. Nearly half of people aged over 80 live on their own and half of older people consider TV to be their main form of company.
  • It has been proven that being lonely has a detrimental lasting effect on blood pressure with higher readings recorded amongst many people suffering from loneliness, as well as being a factor in cases of depression.

Getting to the centre of loneliness

A significant and growing proportion of the Rochford population are over 80 years of age and community support is becoming ever more important for people who are vulnerable, less mobile and isolated.

Hockley & Hawkwell Day Centre (HHDC) understands these problems only too well and has been providing a vital service to the older people in the local community from Hockley and the surrounding district for almost 35 years.

We were pleased to support them with a grant from our Surviving Winter Appeal to help them keep the Centre open during the Winter months.

The centre is open Monday to Thursday and is run by a dedicated team of volunteers who provide a warm friendly environment.  Teas, coffees, scones and cakes are available in addition to delicious and nutritious home cooked lunches.  This is followed by afternoon activities and entertainment, including bingo, cards, scrabble, knitting and singing.

Richard Jarrard, Trustee of the Centre said, “We see approximately 60 clients a day who are supported by a dedicated and caring group of volunteers.

“We offer a sociable environment where people can get hot nutritional meals, at a low cost and provide afternoon entertainment, all of which helps to keep their minds and bodies healthy.

“Support from within the community has never been more important than it is now, and helping people to keep well, active and connected is at the heart of everything we do.

“Thanks to support from ECF, we will be able to continue to keep our much loved and needed centre open throughout the winter months.”

Support our Surviving Winter Appeal

Our ‘Surviving Winter Appeal’ is one way of supporting vulnerable people in local communities and since the annual Appeal was first launched in 2011, we have given over £100,000 of support to local charities and voluntary groups.

The Appeal invites donations to raise vital funds that can be used to support older and vulnerable people, keeping them healthy and well during the colder months.

Andy Payne Worpole, head of programmes at ECF, said: “The Winter can be a difficult and dangerous time for older people, but also for those who are vulnerable due to issues including homelessness, disability or illness.

Local charities and voluntary groups can provide a lifeline of support, but the rising cost of living, increased food prices and energy bills is making it difficult for them to continue providing their vital services.

“But, you can help!  All donations to our Surviving Winter Appeal will enable us to support local voluntary organisations and activities to help reduce loneliness and isolation, contribute to fuel and food costs, and assist those in need to get access to specialist services and community groups.

“If you receive the Winter Fuel Allowance or the Energy Rebate and don’t need it to pay your own bills, please consider donating some or all of this to our Appeal.

How you can help

  • Donate your winter fuel payment if you don’t need it
  • Give a one-off donation
  • Set up a regular monthly gift
  • Give online here

Cheques can be sent to the Essex Community Foundation offices: 3 Hoffmanns Way, Chelmsford, CM1 1GU. To ask questions about the Appeal and other ways to make a donation, please call us on 01245 355947.

Does your charity need funding this Winter?

If you are a local charity or community group that needs funding to support your work during the colder months, including core costs (such as rent and salaries), please call our grants team on 01245 355947.