EVESHAM Volunteer Centre, which supports vulnerable local people with food, medical assistance and other assistance, has been boosted by a grant.

More than 70 county people will be supported as a results of the grant of £1,600 from Worcestershire Freemasons.

The grant is to pay for food parcels and other vital supplies, as well as paying the expenses of the charity’s extensive network of local volunteers, and other necessary costs.

Evesham Volunteer Centre has provided a crucial lifeline for elderly and vulnerable people across the Vale for over 35 years.

With a patch that covers 23 rural parishes plus the town itself, over 200 volunteers are directly involved with the centre, providing services that include taking people shopping, providing transport to hospitals, organising lunch and social clubs for the elderly, or spending an hour or two with someone in their own home to alleviate isolation.

One of the most popular direct services provided by the centre is the Community Transport Scheme, with around 60 drivers offering their services.

Last year they clocked up well over 100,000 miles between them.

The centre runs a telephone befriending system operating, with many clients looking to these phone calls as very much a lifeline as they are shielding because of their age during the pandemic.

To those shielding or self isolating the centre also delivers two or three food parcels a week to families in need.

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The grant from Worcestershire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

Helen Gray, chief officer of the Evesham Volunteer Centre, said: “We’re very grateful to Worcestershire Freemasons for their generous grant, which will be a big help to us in providing local people with the food, medical assistance and other essential help they need during this very difficult time”

Robert Vaughan from Worcestershire Freemasons added: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Evesham Volunteer Centre carry on with their hugely important work during the pandemic."