A small grant funding programme designed to enhance wellbeing for older people living on Anchor Hanover estates across the country has now passed the £600k mark.
Since launching in 2006, the programme has funded a range of activities such as outings, exercise classes and gardening improvements such as raised beds and summer houses. This year Anchor Hanover has extended its funding to help support resident groups to establish social enterprises on their estates, with up to £5,000 made available for their local endeavour.
One of the first to benefit from the new funding was Rostherne Court in Altrincham. Residents have turned part of an unused communal lounge into a card and gift shop. Since opening, their venture has become a popular community hub where residents can catch up with family and neighbours. Any profit from the sale of goods at the shop is used to purchase more stock.
In Sussex, a resident group combined assistance from Greenshoots with additional backing from the National Lottery Community Fund, Haywards Heath Town Council and West Sussex County Council to build a community lounge. The lounge is regularly used for coffee mornings, fundraisers and exercise classes.
Recently, the Greenshoots programme also helped residents at Hanover Court in Mulbarton establish a chat cafe. Each month the cafe adopts a new theme where residents and the local community gather for entertainment, exercise, dementia awareness workshops and a mobile nail bar.
‘The cafe is wonderful. Every few weeks I treat myself to a hand massage and nail painting in the mobile nail bar,’ said 94-year-old Mary Weeds.
Nick Sedgwick, Director of Service Improvement at Anchor Hanover, said: "Improving the lives of our residents is at the heart of what we do. Over the years Greenshoots has helped residents undertake a great number of activities, improved social wellbeing and added a sense of community.
"It’s hugely exciting to see how the new social enterprise grants are encouraging residents to be become even more involved with what is going on at their estate as well as helping them to reduce loneliness and isolation."