Ward helps keep Chit Chat Club from closure 

The Chit Chat Club group photo

Derbyshire based metal recycling and waste specialist, Ward has donated £520 to the Chit Chat Club in Chesterfield to cover room rental and help it remain open during the pandemic. 

The Chit Chat social club meets everything Thursday between 1:30pm and 3:30pm and offers members of the local community an opportunity to have ‘a natter over a cup of tea or coffee’, meet friends and play bingo.

Each club member pays £1 per week to cover the cost of refreshments. The weekly room hire was previously subsidised by not-for-profit, volunteer-led organisation The Loundsley Green Community Trust, yet due to economic difficulties resulting from COVID-19, the community development trust needed to start charging room hire.

Members of Chit Chat Club

Providing a lifeline for many people during isolating times, the group fear loneliness more than the virus. Members include many older people, some with disabilities, who have overwhelmingly agreed that they want to keep the club going. 

Sheila, 87 said “I may only have a few years left and I don’t want to be in the house seeing no-one, so I will risk the virus.” Daphne, 92 agreed, adding “The thoughts of being on my own is more frightening than catching the virus.”

The Chit Chat Club group photo

Members Judith and Pat who both live with disabilities, shared their sentiment saying: “What would I do if I could not see my friends?”, and, “If I have to go, I want to go smiling so can I keep coming?”.

Kathleen Goodwin, club organiser said: “Everyone is so passionate about keeping the group going. Members were happy to contribute £2 per week to cover the costs as our usual fundraising activities have been curbed by recent events.

“The response was an overwhelming ‘no’ when we suggested closing. We have a large room so we can keep a safe distance from each other. We sanitise everywhere many times during our sessions and everyone wears masks, many funny ones. It is really important to people to keep meeting up. We’re so grateful for the support from Ward.”

Ward has supported the club for a number of years through its #Tweetforatreat Easter Egg scheme, so on hearing of the developments at the Chit Chat club, the local firm wanted to do what it could assist. 

It has donated the cost of six month’s rent so that the community gathering can take place for the foreseeable and any additional monies raised amongst the group can be used to treat the members, either at a Christmas fuddle or another suitable occasion. 

Donald Ward, Operations Director at Ward, said: “This is an extremely challenging time for people, particularly those who may live alone or have limited family to rely on. Supporting the local community is really important to us and as a local business we have a duty to provide assistance where we can to support mental health and well-being of each other.”

You can keep up to date with the Chit Chat Club here: https://www.lgct.org.uk/regular-activities/thursday-chit-chat-club/.

For more information on Ward’s metal recycling and waste management capabilities visit www.ward.com.