Ruislip Northwood Old Folks Association has received a £41,964 grant from HS2’s Community & Environment Fund (CEF) to help provide over 10,000 meals to the elderly. The project is the first in the Uxbridge & South Ruislip constituency to successfully apply to the HS2 Funds.
The Uxbridge & South Ruislip MP, Boris Johnson, popped in to one of the lunch sessions and saw how it is making a difference, helping tackle a rise in loneliness and mental health issues in the older generation, something exacerbated by increased isolation during the pandemic.
Visiting Elm Park, Boris Johnson, MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, said: “The Ruislip and Northwood Old Folks Association provides a vital lifeline for older people who might be at risk of loneliness and isolation and is the first community group in my constituency of Uxbridge & South Ruislip to have successfully applied for funding from the HS2 Community & Environment Fund.
“I’m thrilled that this award will be making such a tremendous difference to people’s lives this winter and I will be encouraging other community projects and businesses in my constituency who may have been impacted by HS2 construction works to apply.”
The charity behind the lunch and social club hopes that it will offer a place to meet others with similar circumstances and have a nutritional lunch, reducing the pressure on local social services and the NHS.
Maddelyn Sutton, head of community engagement at HS2 Ltd said:
“We have worked hard over the past few years to engage with the local community around Ruislip and I’m glad to see that HS2 can provide a significant benefit to residents. The Community & Environment Fund was set up to go above and beyond the usual mitigations HS2 has put in place to reduce the impact of construction and provide a community-led route to secure funding for local projects.”
Ruislip Northwood Old Folks Association runs two lunch and social clubs in the area – at the Elm Park Centre in Ruislip and the Tudor Club in Eascote. They have existed since 1949 and are well established as centres that encourage community cohesion between residents. The clubs are open from 10:30am, every Monday to Friday.
Steve McBain from the Ruislip Northwood Old Folks Association said: “As with all small charities, funding is a major factor in maintaining sustainability and achieving its aim. This grant from the HS2 Community and Environment Fund is most welcome and ensures the Association will continue to provide places to meet for the benefit of many more local elderly residents”.
Starting in 2017, HS2’s Community & Environment Fund (CEF) is available to community groups and business partnerships impacted by the construction of the London to Birmingham and Birmingham to Crewe phases of the HS2 construction project and are independently administered by community charity Groundwork.
HS2’s construction in the area is confined mainly to tunnels, with notable construction sites including the West Ruislip Portal located 1.8km from the Elm Park Club and the South Ruislip Vent Shaft located 1.5km from the Tudor Club.