Building caring communities across Sussex

Pictured here is our late friend and donor Arthur Green (centre), with his Casserole Club friends, Ed Briggs(left) and Vicky Tremain (right). The three became great friends until Arthur sadly passed away in June. The  Arthur & Doreen Green Fund gave more than 100,000 in grants to Brighton & Hove charities since 2014.
Pictured here is our late friend and donor Arthur Green (centre), with his Casserole Club friends, Ed Briggs(left) and Vicky Tremain (right). The three became great friends until Arthur sadly passed away in June. The Arthur & Doreen Green Fund gave more than 100,000 in grants to Brighton & Hove charities since 2014.

In October, the Government published 'A connected society: a strategy for tackling loneliness', which builds on the work of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, set up after the tragic death of the MP in 2016.

In October, the Government published 'A connected society: a strategy for tackling loneliness', which builds on the work of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, set up after the tragic death of the MP in 2016.

At the heart of the new strategy is a plan to develop ‘social prescribing’ across the UK. Social prescribing is when GPs and other healthcare workers refer people to services in their community, instead of offering only medicalised solutions. That means people being referred to projects such as community cafés, gardens and art spaces – the kinds of community projects Sussex Community Foundation has been funding since 2006.

Isolation and lack of social contact are shown to be factors in declining health. Parts of Brighton – along with Hastings, Eastbourne, Bexhill, Worthing, Littlehampton and Bognor Regis – all have above average levels of loneliness compared with the rest of England. 41% of Brighton and Hove’s residents live alone which is 10 percent higher than the national average. Social isolation puts people at greater risk of cognitive decline, depression, of falls, use of more medication and increased visits to the doctor. Social networks not only reduce the risk of developing diseases but also help individuals recover when they do fall ill.

One project we fund in Brighton & Hove is Casserole Club, managed by local charity Impetus. The group received an £8,800 grant from the Foundation towards its running costs. The Club asks people who love cooking to cook an extra portion and deliver it to an isolated neighbour. The funding has allowed Impetus to support the existing 42 partnerships on the platform and has allowed them to begin the process of registering and matching 50 of the hundreds of people who expressed an interest in cooking for someone isolated in their neighbourhood.

Many beneficiaries have health conditions which mean they can't go out unassisted. By drawing them to the attention of neighbours, they benefit from the goodwill and company of people whom they would not otherwise meet which, in turn, helps to create more caring communities.

“The most important impact of Casserole Club is that it enables meaningful communication between the isolated person and our volunteer cooks,” says Emma Baars of Impetus. “Often, this relationship develops into helping with gardening and odd jobs, writing and computers, shopping or social activities. 70% of the 1,000 people we work with tell us that isolation is the most difficult aspect of their life.”

There are still plenty of people looking for a cook in their neighbourhood so, if you're interested in cooking for someone isolated, please contact Sean de Podesta at Impetus on 01273 775888.