Group celebrates cash boost
A voluntary group has been given £29,000 to extend its work with elderly members of the African-Caribbean community.
The Jamaica Community Service Group, in Leicester, will use the money over the next two years to identify the needs of up to 400 senior citizens and help them live independently in their homes.
The Aging, Reaching out and Caring (Arc) scheme was one of a handful to get money from the Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales.
The group is based at the West Indian Senior Citizen's Project, in Lincoln Street, Highfields.
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Dozens of people celebrated the grant with food, music and bingo at the centre.
Leonra Jones, 84, said: "It's something we will all benefit from.
"A lot of older people can feel isolated at times. Sometimes all you need is someone at the other end of the phone or a lift to meet up with other people.
"It's nice to know there is someone to turn to."
Sandra Gaskin, a support worker with the project, said: "Thanks to this grant, we will be looking at the needs of older African Caribbean residents in Leicester and the county.
"The extra support we intend to provide will centre on advocacy, companionship, learning and promoting independent living."
Rohan Morgan, head of the Arc scheme, said: "We will be working with social services, community groups and the NHS to identify those who need our help.
"We believe there are up to 400 people who will be able to benefit but there could be more.
"The aim is to find them and identify their needs so we can provide the help they need.
"It could be as simple as helping someone to programme a washing machine or help with pensions and benefits, or just popping round for a cup of tea.
"These elders are the last of the first generation of West Indians who came to England after the war. We owe them huge thanks and respect."
Gary Beharrell, grant manager for the East Midlands at the Lloyds TSB Foundation, said they wanted to support the group's "innovative work".
For more details, call Sandra Gaskin on 0116 251 2224 or e-mail: