The Front Room Club, a community hub based at St Luke’s Downham, is celebrating receiving £310,005 from The National Lottery Community Fund – the largest funder of community activity in the UK – to continue its support for local people.
St Luke’s Downham is in the top 10% of poorest communities in the UK. The Front Room Club offers a social space, medical assistance from a nurse, pain management, as well as support and advice service. Many who visit the club can also get help with practical skills and IT support.
The Club welcomed 130 guests in the last quarter, offering a safe, welcoming and supportive place that is open to everyone.
Lucie Walsh, who volunteers at the Club said:
“We really get to know our group members, visiting when they are in hospital and making sure they feel a true sense of belonging. Every one of our members is unique and valuable. We make sure everyone has the opportunity to imagine a better life for themselves and to achieve for themselves.”
Group members who attend describe the group as:
“Good company and good value for money and friendly. Help available when needed.”
“A Fantastic group of people from all different backgrounds… I just love to socialise with all the other members of the club and love meeting new people when they join.”
“It has a great atmosphere and the staff are very friendly.”
With rising energy prices and increased need in the community due to the cost of living crisis, there was a chance Front Room Club would have to drastically reduce its services or close entirely. Now thanks to funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, the club is safe for the next 5 years and looking forward to welcoming more members of our community.
This grant from The National Lottery Community Fund supplements generous donations from a Crowdfunding campaign match funded by Co-op, and the support of existing funding partners Lewisham Council, The Bishop of Southwark’s Lent Appeal and The Charity of Sir Richard Whittington to secure and expand the project.
Janet Daby MP for Lewisham East said:
“The Front Room Club has developed and expanded over several years. I have seen it go from strength to strength under its present leadership and community group users. This amazing hub based at St Luke’s Church is a vital and necessary asset for the local community in Downham.
My unreserved thanks go to The National Lottery Community Fund for providing this funding. It demonstrates appreciation of the project and acknowledges the hard work of everyone who has been involved to make this happen. During this cost-of-living crisis this funding ensures this community club will continue to be supported for years to come. My gratitude also goes to the volunteers because without their support many people would be socially isolated and lonely.
Now instead they are part of a thriving community where they develop their social and practical skills. The Front Room Club has always been a beacon of light in Downham but now it can shine that bit more brightly!”
Helen Bushell, Head of Regional Funding for London, the South East and East of England at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, we’re delighted to help the Front Room Club continue its vital services to the community.
“The Club’s committed staff and volunteers work round the clock to provide healthcare support, plus practical advice and resources to help beneficiaries prosper. I look forward to seeing their membership grow in the coming years.”
Further information is available on the National Lottery Community Fund’s website. https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/