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Free 1-2-1 assisted outings support for older people in Gateshead

Our community home help service, Happy to Help, is today celebrating after being awarded £10,000 in National Lottery funding to support older people in Gateshead to regain confidence to go out and about.

The not-for-profit group, based in Teams, Gateshead, will use the cash to provide free, one to one assisted outings support for older people so that they can rebuild their confidence to go out.

The assisted outings service has been running since 2006 and is staffed by a dedicated team of local people. It was founded by Happy to Help, at the request of it’s home help clients who enjoyed the company of their home help assistants so much that they wanted the same companionship and support outside of the home too to attend appointments, run errands, do shopping or anywhere else they wanted to go.

The service supports older people aged 65 and over to go out and about to attend appointments, run errands, do shopping, go for a walk or visit places of interest for example. The flexible support means people can go where they want or need to go, as frequently as they like. It helps people to remain independent, and part of the communities where they feel safest.

The support is needed more than ever after a prolonged period of isolation and staying safe indoors, to help people to regain confidence, mobility and connections they have missed since March 2020.

The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest funder of community activity in the UK, will see 58 local people receive the service, usually £17.50 per hour, free of charge for three outings (excluding the cost of travel or costs incurred during the outing such as refreshments or shopping).

There's no contract or commitment to keep the service afterwards either. In fact, it is hoped that people will benefit from the service in a way that means they feel confidence to go out and about without support after their free outings with Happy to Help.

While the free service is being delivered, Happy to Help will be continuing its home help support service too which helps hundreds of people to live in safety and in the comfort of their own homes by providing weekly cleaning, shopping and bill paying.

Liz Close, Project Coordinator of Happy to Help, says “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to help older people in Gateshead to take the first steps towards feeling more confident about going out again, while making sure they are safe and in the company of someone who is trusted and fully trained. This is important because it helps both the clients and their loved ones to have peace of mind that older people are gradually and safely growing their self-esteem, mobility and wellbeing by restarting the outings, hobbies and social networks they enjoy.”

A current client of the one to one assisted outings service told us “The last year has not been nice. It’s been long and lonely. I have missed going to the hairdressers and my mobility isn’t very good. I’m unsteady on my feet but I feel safe now I have someone with me. I really look forward to it.”

For more information about the free one to one assisted outings support, or the home help service, please contact Liz on 0191 478 5919 or email liz@teamwork-dt.co.uk.

About The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. National Lottery players raise £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.

 

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