Haswell Catering Services Ltd, the not for profit organisation based in the North East, is celebrating after securing £10,000 from the Coalfields Community Investment Programme (CCIP), delivered by the Coalfield Regeneration Trust.


The funds will be used to launch a project that will provide a new weekly lunch club and programme of activities including armchair aerobics, music workshops and information, advice and guidance (IAG) sessions for older members of the community including those living with dementia.


Securing the maximum grant awarded from the CCIP, Haswell Catering Services can now increase the number of vulnerable people that it able to engage with from across the district, allowing it to have a positive and lasting impact on those that access its programmes and projects.


Managing Director of the Haswell Catering Services, Hayley Hood, comments: “We cannot thank the Coalfields Regeneration Trust enough. The organisation has supported us over the years and through the funding that they provide through the CCIP we can deliver projects such as the new lunch club.


“We know that eating in a community setting plays an important role and creates the opportunity for social interaction. Not only does this benefit our service users’ general health but also their social well-being, which is particularly important.”


As part of the project, armchair aerobics will take place each week, improving the flexibility of those that take part, while also strengthening muscle and balance, reducing joint pain and stiffness, and increasing blood circulation, mood and concentration. This activity has also been proven to be relaxing and to help to relieve stress levels.


Furthermore, music workshops will be used to help people to unlock memories, with research showing that this approach can work well with people that suffer from dementia and other age-related illnesses.


Head of Operations (England) for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Andy Lock, comments: “This project is just one example of the fantastic work that is delivered by not for profit organisations within our coalfield communities. In this instance, people with dementia can socialise with others to help them to avoid mental health conditions or isolation, which are often prevalent with older residents.


“It is important that we help people to remain as independent as possible as they live with conditions such as dementia. Through activities such as chess, and simply by eating lunch together, it makes a huge difference.”