It’s that time of year when we like to look back on what’s happened and celebrate what’s been achieved in the last year.
Our busy volunteers have so far given help, advice and support about housing to an impressive 800 older people. This has been through home visits, telephone calls, informal conversations, training sessions and group talks.
Our two training packages to date, run in Manchester and Bristol, have been delivered to around 180 older people. The Manchester training sessions, which have been delivered to over 100 older people, also encourage participants to take away information and pass this on to their friends and family. We estimate that they pass on advice and information to at least another 10 people each. These training sessions have received really positive feedback – you can read about them in more detail in our previous blogs.
In addition to the formal training, our volunteers have delivered 54 talks to almost 700 older people. Individual support has been given to 116 older people through telephone support, in depth home visits and informal conversations.
We’ve heard plenty of stories about how our volunteers have helped older people with their housing (you can read some of our case studies in previous blogs), and the difference it has made to them.
One older lady who attended our most recent housing options in later life workshops said she would like to chat further with a volunteer. She is living in a housing association property with her disabled husband and her 20 year old son but she wants to move. WECR have a housing options service but unfortunately this is not for people who are already in housing association property. So we put the woman in touch with one of our Silverlinks volunteers who has experience of living in various housing association places with various housing associations. The volunteer was able to explain that the woman would not be able to apply for sheltered housing as her son is still living at home. The volunteer also explained how the woman could apply for an internal transfer from within the same housing association, or if she wanted to live in a different housing association or council accommodation, that she could apply for council or housing association accommodation through the city council website – and advised her of where to go if she needed help to do this.
One of our volunteers in Leeds has recently supported a lady with moving to sheltered housing, as she had experience in downsizing which she was able to share. Unfortunately since then, our volunteer’s health has deteriorated and she feels she may need to move – she is now in the process of being put in touch with another Silverlinks volunteer who has experience in selling their own home, to support her while she makes this important decision.
We continue to welcome new volunteers, with our newest addition to the team being Glyn. Judy met Glen recently at a dementia awareness event. Glyn lives in a ground floor flat in central Bristol, having moved from another part of Bristol where he had been living in a larger house. Glyn’s wife sadly passed away having suffered from dementia. He enjoys living near the centre of Bristol and he is very close to all amenities, bus stops, local train station, a GP surgery and shops etc.
Glyn comes with a wealth of experience and has volunteering experience with Age UK, The Carers Trust, Dementia Care Trust, LinkAge and Victim Support, and in mental health advocacy work. He also has skills and qualifications in counselling, literacy and communication.
We are delighted that Glyn has agreed to join Silverlinks and he has already been very helpful in talking about his experiences of moving home in later life with attendees at WE Care & Repair’s recent “Healthy Homes” training..
Glyn meets lots of older people, especially when he is involved in other voluntary work and he is keen to see how Silverlinks might link up with other volunteers from the other projects he is involved with, to help reach more people.
We are looking forward to continuing to work with our volunteers and support many more older people in the new year!
Best wishes for the festive season from all of us at Silverlinks. Here’s a festive photo of our Bristol volunteers enjoying a Christmas lunch together. Thank you everyone for all of your work this year.