What we do
In recent years more emphasis has been given to combat loneliness by bringing people out of their homes to venues and provide them with entertainment and enjoyment. The Club currently runs Bingo and Fish & Chip evenings, trips to the theatre, day trips and Christmas parties. Additionally, we hold two exercise classes for older people, weekly, at St Stephens Hall Barnet and Open Door Centre High Barnet. Attendance is open to all regardless of religious beliefs or ethnic background, from residential homes and independent households. Guests are not charged for participation in any of our events.
During the Coronavirus 19 emergency Puddenecks were able to provide support for about 100 guests who were living independently. Telephone volunteers kept in regular touch with guests to combat loneliness, reduce stress, and provide shopping. On a fortnightly basis meal were delivered to guests’ homes. Fish and chips were bought from local fish shops, and Totteridge Millhillians Cricket Club cooked meals ranging from casseroles to chicken salads.
Fundraising events run have included: – dinners with guest speakers, a Charity Golf Day, a Christmas bucket collection at the Spires shopping centre and a Race Night. Local Pubs raise money from raffles and we receive donations from local companies. Of late Waitrose has become an increasingly important donor through its Community Matters scheme.
As a Charity all the monies raised by the club are only used for the benefit of older people. No Member is paid and indeed all volunteers cover their expenses for transporting guests. As a result, our administration costs are kept low at around 3% and consist primarily of insurance, postage and office sundries. The Club levies a membership charge on all members payable annually and all members are expected to attend and pay for their monthly supper meeting. In addition, members are required to help at both fund raising and the events we run.
Over the past few years, much effort has been placed on forging partnerships with other organisations. Our aim is to work towards integrating services to provide a more rounded and less fragmented service to older people. This is evidenced by: –
- Puddenecks has led a number of workshops attended by local charities and the Local Authority to discuss areas of common interest and exploit synergies.
- In particular, closer relationships with High Barnet Good Neighbours and Friends in Need has produced an introduction to more guests who need our services and provided access to transport facilities.
- Totteridge Millhillians Cricket Club has become an important friend and partner providing funds for Xmas lunches, catering for meals during the coronavirus and volunteer drivers for our events.
The proof of the value of partnerships serving the community came during the virus when Puddenecks funded and organised support for older people, Waitrose provided funding for food that was cooked by Totteridge Millhillians Cricket Club.
Much of our overall effort is provided by volunteers who share our aims but do not wish to become full members of the Puddenecks Club. A particular advantage of this approach is that the number of female volunteers has increased and as our guest list is comprised of 90% ladies this is a welcome development.