Teams and Bensham Community Care, based in Gateshead, is celebrating after being awarded £10,000 in funding from The National Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

Teams and Bensham Community Care will use their funding to support isolated older men at their men's groups, held every Monday and Thursday from a warm, welcoming and accessible centre in the Teams area of Gateshead.

The gentlemen who attend enjoy a hot, freshly cooked two course meal, games of dominoes, friendly competitions on the Wii U, take part in the popular daily quiz, and relax and read the daily newspapers. There's minibus transport from home and back again too, for attendees who live in the local area, and the cooks prepare plenty of freshly baked goods for the gents to take home.

This new National Lottery funding will keep the men's groups open for the next 12 months so that local older men can stay connected, ease feelings of loneliness, access a hot meal and get support from others with any concerns or challenges they face, particularly bereavement.

National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. The National Lottery Fund distributes a share of this to projects to support people and communities to prosper and thrive.

Michelle Scott, a Trustee at Teams and Bensham Community Care said: "Thanks to National Lottery players, this grant means we can continue to support older men in Gateshead to feel connected and to break down the barriers they experience in asking for, and accepting help with the issues they experience. For the best part of two decades, the charity struggled to encourage isolated and vulnerable older men to come along to our lunch clubs and activities, but since starting our men's groups seven years ago, it has grown to be our most popular group of the week. The funding provided by The National Lottery will make a big difference to people's lives."

During the pandemic, in 2020 alone, The National Lottery Community Fund distributed almost £1 billion to charities and community organisations across the UK.

If you or someone you know is aged over 65 and would like more information about the Teams and Bensham Community Care men’s groups, we're always happy to answer any questions, arrange a home visit or to help in any other way that we can. Call the team on 0191 4600297, Monday to Friday between 9am and 3pm.

To find out more about The National Lottery Community Fund, visit www.TNLCommunityFund.Org.uk