New campaign supports older people this winter
Published by Kelly Elliott for Derwentside Homes Ltd in Housing and also in Communities
Three County Durham organisations have joined forces to launch a new campaign which aims to support elderly people across the county this winter.
The ‘Stay Warm and Well this Winter’ campaign brings together three existing local services - Silver Talk, Care Connect and Managing Money Better - offering a package of support aimed at making winter more comfortable for older people and providing peace of mind for their families.
Derwentside Homes’ Silver Talk service is a free volunteer-run telephone befriending service which ensures people have regular social contact. Durham County Council’s Care Connect is a 24/7, 365 days a year monitoring and response service that helps people live independently in their own homes, and Prince Bishops Community Bank’s Managing Money Better service helps older people save money on their energy bills and make their homes warmer.
The campaign aims to help older people save money through the Managing Money Better service, with those savings then used to provide extra support through Care Connect. Meanwhile Silver Talk will provide regular contact through its telephone befriending service and signpost older people for further advice from other local organisations where needed.
Silver Talk project coordinator John Atkinson said: “Winter can be a difficult time for older people, especially those who live in rural communities; Silver Talk is a free service for older people no matter where in County Durham they live. With regular social telephone calls, it can really help people feel connected.
“We know there is a wide range of support available and whilst working with Mid Durham Area Action Partnership we came up with the idea of joining forces with other local organisations to combine our services into one easy to access package.”
Bernie Malone of Care Connect said: “The three services all compliment each other and the idea is that if older people are able to save money through Managing Money Better they may wish to use those savings to sign up to Care Connect, which provides peace of mind for older people and their families 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Shelley Lowes of Managing Money Better said: “As winter approaches many older people may be worried about the cost of heating their homes, but our advisors can provide plenty of advice which will help people insulate their homes more effectively and save money on their bills.”