Our New Project
Our new Doorstep Lunch and Blether service reduces loneliness among older members of our community by providing hot food and much needed social interaction which so many vulnerable old people are desperately missing.
With the onset of the coronavirus crisis we have, like many other services, had to adapt what we do while continuing to meet the needs of our members.
Before the lockdown, our lunch club for older people operated Monday to Friday as a vital lifeline. It ensured our members got a delicious, nutritious meal at our centre.
But, importantly, a major factor of the service was the social interaction with our members. From one week to the next they may not see anyone other than staff and volunteers from the lunch club. Ask them what they love about the visit and they tell you it’s really the chat and laughter. Just the sheer comfort of being with other people for a few hours.
After the current crisis meant our centre closing, we put our heads together and came up with the Doorstep Lunch and Chat. This allows our members to continue to enjoy not only a delicious meal but to see a familiar face. To blether, share stories and simply enjoy being in the company of another human being.
The sense of community and belonging this brings - not only to those who receive the service but to all our magnificent volunteers - it is an amazing experience for all of us.
(Below is a selection of the meals we have provided )
The statistics in our area say that at least one older person in every street is experiencing debilitating loneliness ....... that is one person in every street and that's too many for us !!! Our aim with this simple but effective service is to make sure we are reaching those people who need it most.
As restrictions from the lockdown begin to ease, it may be a long time before groups of older people can come together to socialise in our centre again.
There will be issues around traveling on the buses provided, social distancing and the fact that almost all of them are within the shielding category. Therefore, we see this as a long-term project - as time passes we will adapt to bring even more comfort to our members’ lives.
The service will move forward, continuing to follow government guidelines, and hopefully involve volunteers being able to attend the person’s home, share lunch with them and spend a longer time together.
Who we are and what we do
Ben View is a small, local community charity offering a range of services to all ages. We provide a baby and toddler group, youth programme, personal care for older people in the community, daily lunch club for the elderly and a befriending service to lonely older people.
Within the Centre we have three small office spaces we lease to local voluntary organisations and rooms that are hired out a low cost to local groups. The income generated from room hire is lost to us at this time with the Centre having been closed since 21st March, at this time we do not know when we can reopen for room hire and our essential services .
The project began in 1994 but in the last 10 years we have expanded to provide more services and in doing so we have created a real sense of community within our centre. We enjoy fantastic support and rely heavily on fundraising and volunteers to ensure we can sustain our current level of services.
What is said about us
" I support Ben View charity as I know that every penny they receive is put back into their community. The lunch club service they provide is a lifeline for the elderly in and around Dumbarton / Alexandria areas. It is a place they can go and not feel lonely. They can get a wee chat with friends, join in events, enjoy Christmas and more importantly, they are loved and cared for by the management, staff and volunteers. Of the many services Ben View provides I consider that this one is extra special. The team here are second to none and even now, during these trying times when the centre is closed, they are still going above and beyond to ensure that the services users are looked after every day by delivering lunches to their homes and having human contact. It truly is a unique wee place. " Gail Whitton
“Thank you to all the staff and volunteers at Ben View for all you do. We really appreciate having the service - the mince and potatoes was delicious today. I just had to take the time to phone and thank you for this. It means a lot to know you are there and it’s lovely to see the smiling faces arrive at the door with lunch. It’s just so good to see someone else - even for a short time.” Mrs Skewis
Bringing Generations Together
We will also be engaging members of our youth programme to support the Doorstep Lunch and Blether . This will bring together generations with different life experiences and create opportunities for stories to be told and shared that can be captured and saved in memory books - the youth group will be putting together the collective stories. Our youth will also be decorating lunch bags, making birthday cards, writing letters, and creating arts and crafts as gifts for our members.
Ben View is not just a place or a service, most of all it is an experience. At its heart is compassion, warmth, empathy - and that comes from everyone who is involved.
Come along and be part of this wonderful journey with us. In fact, we can’t do it without you. Thanks to you, it will allow us to make people happy by just turning up on their doorstep and having a good old-fashioned blether. The simple things in life are often the best. Please help us. Thank you.
What your pledges mean !
Your pledges mean EVERYTHING !
This is an all or nothing project and unless we reach our initial target of £5000 we will not receive any of the pledges made !!!!! !
As funds are vital to ensure this great project is able to continue, the sooner we reach target the better for those who are receiving the service
At present we are delivering 62 meals per week ! we don't see this number going down, more than like it could increase therefore its vital that we can gather as much support as possible from you all
Each lunch costs £4.00
If you pledge £20 you pay for 5 lunches
If you pledge £40 you pay for 10 lunches
If you pledge £100 you pay for 25 lunches
If you pledge £248 you will have paid for one weeks meals !!!!
But please know that EVERY PENNY COUNTS, at the end of the day it will all add up and allow us to ensure we can continue to make a difference.
How can YOU help or be involved?
1. Donate to the cause. Every donation no matter how little or large helps us achieve our goals.
2. Spread the word to help us connect with as many as possible who may be able to offer our project assistance
Our thoughts ........
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” Maya Angelou