A FOOTBALL legend has helped kick off an independent charity for older people supported by Colten Care.
Lawrie McMenemy MBE cut the ribbon to open HOPE New Forest’s combined shop, office and advice service in New Milton’s Station Road.
The charity has been set up by a group of local volunteers to offer free, impartial advice on any issue affecting older people.
It will generate income through donations including clothing and other items sold in the shop and develop outreach services from New Milton to Barton on Sea, Milford on Sea, Lymington and Brockenhurst.
Mr McMenemy, the former Southampton, Northern Ireland and England Under-21 manager, has been active in helping older people’s charities for many years.
He said: “I congratulate those who have set up HOPE New Forest. They will need help and support themselves through donations and fund-raising events. The key thing is that all the good they will do will go directly back into the community.”
Julia Pride, Chair of Trustees for HOPE New Forest, said: “Elderly people can often be confused about what help there is locally on issues involved in managing money, claiming benefits and accessing care. Our service is rooted in the local community. Our advisors, volunteers and trustees are all in touch with the grass roots of the area and by bringing our advice and information services under one roof we hope to be able to make a positive difference. The support of Colten Care is really important for us. We are all working for the same end which is to improve the quality of life for older people.”
Colten Care is helping the new charity through a financial donation and marketing support. It will also provide space for HOPE to host volunteer meetings at its Kingfishers home in New Milton, Woodpeckers in Brockenhurst and its three Lymington homes – Belmore Lodge, Monmouth House and Court Lodge.
Colten Care Marketing Executive Laura Rolph said: “HOPE is a natural charity for us to support. It is completely aligned to our objective of supporting elderly people and it is launching right here in our heartland of the New Forest.”
Colten Care runs 19 care homes across Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire. Its services include residential, nursing, respite and dementia care. The family-run group is determined to set the highest standards in all aspects of care for the elderly.
For more information on HOPE New Forest, visit www.hopenewforest.org.