Volunteers deliver festive hampers to Islington’s older residents

Volunteer Kalim Ahmed (L) with Ed Bartram, the Friendship Network Coordinator, outside Manor Gardens

Volunteer Kalim Ahmed (L) with Ed Bartram, the Friendship Network Coordinator, outside Manor Gardens building. - Credit: Archant

A charity made up 135 hampers to deliver to elderly residents in north Islington.

Volunteers delivered the hampers last week as part of the Manor Gardens’ Friendship Network, a scheme started by the Manor Gardens Welfare Trust, where volunteers befriend elderly residents.

Volunteer Kalim Ahmed delivered some of the hampers by trishaw.

He said: “I signed up to befriend an older person and at the same time started volunteering with a Danish charity called Cycling Without Age, which offers free trishaw rides to help older people get out.

“I thought: ‘why not put the two together and deliver the hampers by trishaw’?”

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Friendship Network Coordinator Ed Bartram also helped deliver the hampters. He said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer these hampers to our members. Our volunteers provide telephone and face-to-face support to lonely and isolated older people throughout the year, but this Christmas we’ve been given a grant by Islington Council’s Local Initiative Fund to provide hampers to people in all the wards in North Islington.”

Goods were also donated by Sainsbury’s in Mercers Road and staff at the city law firm Quadrant, which has donated five hampers through its staff.

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This year, the Friendship Network has supported 71 befriending volunteers and helped 73 older people through home visits, phone befriending and helping them to take part in a variety of activities.

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