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Scheme launched to help Essex pensioners live independently

21st May 2014

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

A new scheme has been announced to help thousands of pensioners in Essex live independently in their own homes. Made possible through the work of volunteer partnerships in Essex, the scheme is being welcomed across the county. 

A team of Community Agents have been specially trained to provide support at home to those with mobility difficulties and who use aids such as curved stairlifts, support that can range from offering help and advice on mobility issues and combating loneliness to helping with practical skills, such as cooking and ironing.

Funding from Essex County Council

The countywide scheme has been made possible through start-up funding from Essex County Council and through partnership from groups within the voluntary sector, including the Rural Community Council of Essex, Age UK Essex, the British Red Cross and Neighbourhood Watch Essex. It is set to start in July this year and will benefit more than 6,000 residents in the region.

This new scheme draws on the successes of a previous project that was based in rural Essex, where 12 Community Agents offered similar services and advice to elderly people within mid-Essex. According to this news article from the Essex Chronicle, 85-year-old Violet Knock has seen huge benefits from the scheme and said, “Our village agent Lydia pops in when I'm not sure of something as soon as she can, and has helped us greatly.”

The new Community Agents scheme has expanded on this previous project and will now offer similar services across Essex in both rural and urban areas. There will also be a stronger focus on health and social care needs so that the scheme will help people to live independently in their homes for longer with the help of mobility aids such as walk in showers.

The scheme is gradually getting underway, with 36 Community Agents already recruited and the first people set to benefit from the project as early as July. Those who are not currently involved, but would like assistance in the home will have the chance to be referred to the scheme in October.

Image Credit: Shannon (flickr.com)