Banburyshire WI group gives village care club a welcome cash boost

Banburyshire WI group gives village care organisation a welcome cash boost after reviving its annual carol concert.
Chipping Warden and Edgecote WI hand over their cheque to Andrew Johnson of the Cluster Care groupChipping Warden and Edgecote WI hand over their cheque to Andrew Johnson of the Cluster Care group
Chipping Warden and Edgecote WI hand over their cheque to Andrew Johnson of the Cluster Care group

Chipping Warden and Edgecote WI raised £375 from a Carol Evening held shortly before Christmas. It was the first event since December 2019 after a lull because of the Covid pandemic.

The money has been handed over to Andrew Johnson on behalf of the Cluster Care group which meets each week at the Cropredy Sports and Social Club, catering for older people from Cropredy and surrounding villages.

Mr Johnson said the Cluster Care group was especially grateful for the donation as former funding from Oxfordshire County Council ended. The group now has to apply for funds to local authorities as well as charitable organisations in order to survive.

“We are so grateful to organisations like the Chipping Warden and Edgecote WI for giving us such generous donations. Nearby parish councils and local organisations are a lifeline without which we could not manage as our expenses for rent, salaries, food and insurances comes to about £12,000 per year.” he said.

The group is a registered charity, founded over 25 years ago to provide a day’s care each week for about 12 older people.

Mr Johnson said: “Our regular visitors are from Cropredy and surrounding villages but we are happy to take on people from Banbury itself. We meet from 10am – 3pm. A typical day starts with a cup of tea followed by a talk, music or a craft activity. After a hot lunch there may be a quiz or bingo.

“We encourage all our members to interact as combating loneliness and social isolation is a big part of our work. We also manage to provide a few hours’ respite for those who look after our members. Each member pays £17 a session which includes lunch.”

The sessions are run by a coordinator and assistant coordinator who also plan the activities and assess potential members for suitability for Cluster. The group is unable to look after members with severe dementia.

"We have a board of trustees who administer the charity and we rely on wonderful volunteers to assist the coordinators at each session,” said Mr Johnson.