Elderly residents will continue to benefit from hot meals after a local charity was awarded council funding.
Age Concern Hayling Island secured more than £24,000 from Havant Borough Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) fund to refurbish its kitchen so that it can be used for years to come.
The charity also raised funds towards the project totalling more than £11,000 and will continue to maintain the facility.
Age Concern Hayling Island is an independent charity run by 35 dedicated volunteers which provides hot meals for local elderly residents.
Each week, the charity runs three lunch clubs. On Mondays, visitors can enjoy freshly made soups, sandwiches and toasties, while on Tuesdays and Thursdays a delicious two-course meal is provided.
Those attending the lunch clubs not only benefit from a home-cooked meal but also get to socialise with other local people. Because of this, the lunches have helped prevent older residents - particularly those who live on their own - from becoming isolated.
Councillor Tim Pike, Cabinet lead for Planning, Regeneration and Communities, said: “CIL funding continues to benefit residents by funding a variety of community and infrastructure projects across the borough. With its refurbished kitchen, Age Concern Hayling Island can now carry on providing its important service helping local vulnerable elderly residents.”
Bob Hollingworth, who project managed the refurbishment on behalf of Age Concern Hayling Island, said: “Age Concern Hayling Island has massively benefited from this kitchen refurbishment. Our updated kitchen facility is now future proofed so we can continue to help the elderly in our community.
“This has only been made possible by the fantastic financial assistance from Havant Borough Council's CIL and our own funding contribution raised through our members, key supporters and our fantastic volunteers. I would especially like to thank Louise Weaver from Havant Borough Council and Andrew White from Commercial Kitchens for all of their help and guidance throughout this process.
“We are always looking for willing volunteers to come and join our organisation in capacities ranging from cooks and kitchen helpers to mini-bus drivers and bus helpers. We have to thank Hayling Island Businessmens Club for the use of its community bus, without which we would be unable to provide transport for elderly members who would otherwise be unable to attend our lunch clubs.
CIL is a charge collected by Havant Borough Council from new developments. It is used to fund a range of infrastructure projects that benefit residents and the local community.
HBC recently approved CIL funding for a variety of projects including the refurbishment of Leigh Park Community Centre, disabled toilets at St Faiths Church in Havant and lighting at Bidbury Infant School.
For more information about CIL and spending decisions, please visit www.havant.gov.uk/community-infrastructure-levy