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    ‘Spriteleys’ Launches with a Bounce

    Posted In ASA In The News, ASA Resources, Spriteleys

    Local charity Adults Supporting Adults have launched their new programme, Spriteleys.

    ‘Spriteleys’ replaces the Lincolnshire County Council funded charity formally known as ‘Community Care For The Elderly’. The take-over comes after the Council’s funding was retracted in March. Adults Supporting Adults reopened the sessions in July and have been delighted with the response of existing clients as well as welcoming new people that have since joined.

    Attending the event at Great Ponton Village Hall, the Mayor and Mayoress of Grantham spoke of their delight that the service could continue. The funding cuts would have left elderly individuals, especially those in isolated areas, with no provision at all. The Mayor of Grantham emphasized the importance of this service within the community, describing it as “the spirit to get together”.

    The launch event itself, much like the weekly clubs now re-opened, was packed full of activities such as bingo, raffles and a sing-along with the organ (played by Barbara, one of the services clients). This followed a fantastic choice of food and refreshments provided by local caterers. Much of the value however, reflecting the comments of club members, was the sense of independence, belonging and socialisation – central to all ASA services.

    Keith Phillips, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at AS, spoke briefly to thank the other attendees which included Councillors Ron Oxby & Richard Davies who have supported ASA’s CEO Trixie Bennett in the relaunch. Keith’s speech centred on ASA’s commitment to the Lincolnshire County Council and to the individuals, particularly in rural areas, who deserve to have the choices Spriteleys provides.

    The Rotary Club of Grantham continued their support to ASA since donating the bus, used to collect clients from their homes, in 2004 following their ‘swimarathon’.

    The star guests were however the clients themselves, who spoke about the importance of these services, many of whom had no opportunity to leave their homes nor see another person since the service stopped in March!

    George of the Great Ponton Club took centre stage, providing a show stopping account as to the value of Spriteleys, thanking ASA for “bringing us all together again”.

    Speaking to the clients about their different reasons for attending the weekly club highlighted how utterly fundamental they are, providing socialisation, independence and choice.

    * Dot will be continuing on with Spriteleys and spoke of strict dietary requirements that the club was able to cater for.

    * Annie (92) who won one of the raffle prizes believes in the service so much, she is to this day a committed volunteer.

    * Edith (96) spoke to Lincs FM about the activities she most enjoys, including arts and crafts and quiz games. This aired on Lincs FM.

    * Sadly a client of the service recently passed. The family of whom were so grateful to the respite the service provides, donated a generous sum to the charity.

    Paula was the Director of community care before the cuts and is eager to stay involved with Spriteleys to ensure the service remains for the long term. Both Trixie and Paula paid particular homage to the importance of the service to clients with the onset of early dementia. The group activities provide the necessary activity and interaction to improve their state of mind. A testimonial from one Spriteleys client who has dementia:

    “It’s days like today that I thank God. If it wasn’t for your volunteer service, life would come to a standstill.”

    In some cases, especially for those who have difficulties with sight and hearing, progress on from the group sessions, to an at home service. Such individuals still benefit from the activities and interaction of Spriteleys, but in a smaller group of perhaps three.

    Spriteleys serves in Central Place, Witham Place and Great Ponton over three separate days. Clients pay £10 per session, which includes transport to and from the daily groups and local day trips. In fact at the launch event, the Mayor of Grantham offered a visit to the Mayors Parlour as a possible future day trip.

    Lunch is at an additional cost ranging from £1 – £5 depending on preference. As funding for this service has been retracted, ASA are supporting the charity, covering the costs not covered by individual contribution.

    Eleven trained CRB checked staff and volunteers deliver a variety of activities for each session, and to offer quality individual time and support, group sizes are limited to 15 per day.

    ASA are soon to launch a fourth day in Ancaster at Angel Court and are also looking to establish further groups around the Lincolnshire area.

    Some unfortunate news is that a further six community centres around the Boston and Spalding areas have either closed or are due to close, leaving some 146 individuals without any provision at all. For long-term continuity, ASA continuously seek new volunteers and welcome donations to raise funds to pay for an expansion in sessions.

    To find out about Spriteleys – to attend the sessions, to volunteer or to donate, contact the Sleaford office of ASA on 01529 416270. The team will be happy to answer your questions.

    September 14th, 2011

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