Coping with change
Coping with change will provide older people with the bit of help they need to come to terms with changes in their lives, particularly those arising from bereavement or personal ill-health or disability.
An initial twelve month pilot
Age Concern Calderdale and Kirklees
When older people suffer from bereavement, or find their life opportunities restricted as a result of sudden ill-health or chronic disability, they may well experience depression, become increasingly isolated, and also have to cope with new and unexpected challenges. These factors can work together to create a continuing spiral of ill health and withdrawal from the community, leading to long-term dependency
We will recruit and train volunteers who will provide a listening ear, information and a first point of contact for older people. They'll find out what people need, put them in touch with local groups, and get them active and involved again. And we'll back this up with access to specialist advisers who can help them with benefits, and access to services and support when needed, all with the aim of boosting independence rather than creating dependency.
To identify and support at least 50 older people in a twelve month period
Activities» Recruit and train at least 10 volunteers who can respond flexibily to the needs of the identified older people
» Create a partnership group involving community groups, churches and others who can help us to identify and target older people who are most at risk
Success will be showing that we have worked with 50 older people, and being able to demonstrate that the support they receive has had a long term impact
Firstly, for the older people successfully helped, the project will mean they enjoy more years of active living within their communities, with reduced risk of serious long-term care requirements. Secondly, the success of this project will demonstrate a way of working that we believe will then challenge local health and social care services to think about the needs of older people in an holistic way.
The biggest risk is of failing to identify and target the right older people. We will deal with this by creating a partnership group that involves community organisations who have direct contact with people, and by using our existing networks of contacts to secure referrals and access to the service.
We will produce a monthly email setting out factual information on numbers and progress, and produce a final report that includes (anonymised) case studies as well as statistical information demonstrating how people have been helped.
Budget - Project Cost: £35,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £2,500 Office space Securing office space for the volunteer coordinator and for meetings, etc £25,000 Volunteer coordinator Employing a volunteer coordinator to recruit and train volunteers, and promote the service £2,500 Volunteer expenses We need to make sure volunteers are not excluded due to costs and income £2,500 Office costs inc. publicity Materials to promote the service are essential, plus normal support costs £2,500 Individual support fund To be able to respond flexibly to issues that are identified
Although we work across Calderdale and Kirklees, this project will particularly target work in Kirklees. Kirklees is a diverse borough combining large and attractive rural areas and prosperous villages and communities with areas of high deprivation around Batley and Dewsbury in particular.
Older people in Kirklees reflect the diversity of the whole community in terms of class, income, and ethnic origin. Whilst the project is open to any older person, it will particularly support those of limited means who are either living alone or as a couple with limited existing support from families and neighbours.
Age UK Calderdale and Kirklees is recognised and trusted by older people, and has a strong network of local links to build on, together with our established expertise in recruiting and training volunteers and providing people with accessible advice, information and support.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Pat is the head of our community action and information service