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Funding boost helps The Waveney Centre offer retired Beccles residents a space to socialise

Local charity The Waveney Centre has received a donation of £750 from insurer NFU Mutual, helping the premises to re-open following lockdown. The donation will be used to restock on essential supplies and purchase equipment to make the centre COVID-secure.

The Waveney Centre offers the retired population of Beccles a warm, friendly environment to socialise. Many local older people rely on The Waveney Centre as a meeting place to minimise feelings of isolation, with opportunities now available to join activities and clubs within COVID guidelines.

In order to re-open, the centre needed to source hand sanitisers, disposable hand wipes, disposable gloves and facemasks, as well as clear signage for the one-way system and cleaning ports. Having donated £500 of perishable goods at the start of lockdown to avoid waste, the centre also needed to restock on food to hold its usual events.

Faced with a budget stretched by the unexpected costs of 2020 and the absence of usual fundraising events, support from insurer NFU Mutual has allowed the centre to purchase these products. The £750 funding boost comes from NFU Mutual’s Community Giving Fund, which was set up in 2005 by NFU Mutual’s Head Office to support causes that make important differences in the communities where NFU Mutual staff and Agents live and work.

Fay Baldry, Centre Manager at The Waveney Centre, said: “We are so grateful to NFU Mutual for their support at this time. Having been closed for five months, it was a big financial burden to source all that was needed to re-open in a COVID-secure manner.  We have purchased everything needed and been able to provide a safe environment to encourage our older generation back, helping to alleviate the isolation they have experienced.  Government restrictions and our new opening times mean we will be unable to fundraise for some time, so this £750 from NFU Mutual has made a huge difference to our small charity.”

Ryan Snowden, Agent at NFU Mutual in North Walsham, said: “We are proud to have been able to support The Waveney Centre as they look to reopen following the lockdown. It will make such a positive difference to the local community, particularly at a time when people are feeling more isolated. As the UK’s leading rural insurer, NFU mutual has firm roots in the British countryside and we’ll always stand by those who live and work there. Helping to combat rural isolation is just one of the ways we do that.”