Cash grant for elderly meal scheme

Bell View resource centre Belford
Bell View resource centre Belford

A Belford-based charity has won £30,000 in Santander’s Social Enterprise Development Awards to allow them to expand their fresh meals service for elderly people across rural North Northumberland.

Bell View Belford is a charity that supports older people to live independently in an area with one of the highest proportions of older people in the UK.

Through their social enterprise, Bell View Care, they provide an ever-expanding range of services and activities from day care at the Bell View Centre for around 80 people a week to outreach services, one-to-one care and fresh and frozen meals.

Older people in the local community are encouraged to visit the centre once or twice a week to enjoy a healthy meal together.

The Santander award will allow Bell View to deliver extra sessions and expand their frozen meals service with the purchase of a larger oven and new commercial freezers.

Craig Iley, Santander regional director, said: “At Santander, we are committed to investing in and supporting communities in the North East and our Social Enterprise Development Awards were set up to help enterprises looking to expand. Bell View Care has great potential to grow their business and we’re pleased to be able to help them invest in the equipment they need to bring more meals to older people in Northumberland.”

Val Kelly, manager of Bell View Care, said: “In addition to providing healthy, nutritious food we know our meals service promotes independence, reducing rural and social isolation experienced by older people when our staff and volunteers visit them or when they come to our centre.

“With the Santander award we will be able to reach more elderly people, and develop new volunteering opportunities for locals who want to help in the community.”

Bell View Care was one of eight social enterprises to win an award in this year’s SEDA, which saw a total of £255,000 distributed to organisations in the North East, part of a nationwide £2million prize fund. Winning social enterprises will also receive access to support from Santander including mentoring.