SAGA PILOTING COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS TO COMBAT LONELINESSFriday 16 November 2012
As AgeUK research shows 3.5million older people are left alone across the UK, Saga steps in to help Dr Ros Altmann comments on the importance of care in the community:
SAGA PILOTING COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS TO COMBAT LONELINESS
“Loneliness and isolation is a real problem for older people, and community help can really improve the quality of older people’s lives. Saga has been working with community groups around the country to organise the help and support so many older citizens need.
‘’Saga aims to build networks of local support groups across the country, to help combat isolation and provide crucial services for older people. Saga’s 'Caring in the Community' project is already supporting community groups in Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey and is also encouraging individuals to set up new groups in their own communities.
‘’By providing advice, mentoring and technical support for each group, it is anticipated that Saga will be working with some thirty communities by year end 2012 and many hundreds nationally by year end 2013.
"Saga recognises the role that community groups can play, alongside social care agencies, in providing the support to those at risk of isolation, by offering services such as befriending, driving, help with shopping and handiwork around the home, and the crucial social engagement that these activities involve."
Saga is also doing its bit this winter to help older people trying to stay warm. The Surviving Winter initiative, run by the Communities Foundation Network, begun as a way to enable pensioners to ‘recycle' some of all of their Winter Fuel Payment to help vulnerable people struggling with their energy bills but is now a nationwide appeal for donations to help people can stay warm and well in winter.
Every pound donated to this campaign is spent on those in need. Community Foundations across the country will be helping those at risk with energy bills, insulation or repairs and giving practical help, such as providing hot meals.
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