No matter what your age, being loved and cared for is important to all of us.
But during Christmas the companionship and support of friends and family seems to mean even more than usual – which is why loneliness feels even harsher.
At Age UK Mid Devon, we believe no one should have no one at Christmas.
Yet for approximately 74,000 older people in the South West loneliness is a daily reality. And we don’t just mean at Christmas.
How you can help
If you want to change the lives of older people in Mid Devon at Christmas, please call 01884242052 to find out how you can make a difference.
Talking to no one
In the UK, over 1 million older people are chronically lonely.
We need to change that. We need to make sure help is available for all older people who find their lives adversely affected by loneliness or illness or poverty, whatever the time of year.
Here in Mid Devon we’re working as hard as we can all year round to help older people face the different challenges that growing older brings, and with your help we can work to make sure no one in later life need be alone or isolated.
Whether it’s through our Hubs in Tiverton, Bampton and Cullompton, our befriending services or lunch clubs, our information and advice around getting the financial support people need to make the most of their later years or just being somewhere to turn when things get too tough to cope with on your own, Age UK Mid Devon provides crucial companionship, advice and support to hundreds of people every year.
How you can help
But we can’t do any of this without your help.
So if you want to change the lives of older people in Mid Devon at Christmas, please call 01884242052 to find out how you can make a difference.
You can help to change the lives of local people and make sure no one has no one at Christmas.
Age UK Mid Devon provides a range of services and your gift will go where the need is greatest.
Older People's Day 2016
Age UK Mid Devon will be joining forces with the NHS community rehabilitation team in Tiverton to celebrate Older People’s Day 2016 this October. The national day celebrates the achievements and contributions that older people make to our society and the economy.
The theme of the day is helping people to be more physically active to live longer and live well. Improving balance is a key part of this, as it helps prevents trips and falls. The community rehab team will be visiting The Haven Centre to demonstrate some simple exercises and activities that older people can do to help improve and maintain their balance. They will also be challenging staff and volunteers at the Centre to try a series of tasks, to give them greater understanding of the challenges older people can face.
As Age UK Chief Officer Tim Bridger explains, “Falls are some of the most common reasons for older people admissions to A&E, accounting for 4 million hospital bed days a year. Injurious falls, including 70,000 hip fractures annually, are the leading cause of accident-related mortality in older people. However much of this is preventable, and a tailored exercise programme can reduce falls by as much as 54 per cent, helping people live longer and enjoy later life.”
This annual event coincides with the UN International Day of Older Persons, and events will be taking place across the country to celebrate ageing and the contribution older people make to our communities. Tim adds “This is a good time to think about how you can give something back to the older people in your community, by volunteering as a Volunteer Visitor to help challenge loneliness and isolation for older people in our rural communities. If you have just a couple of hours a week to spare, you could make the world of difference to an older person.”
For more information about The Haven Centre, or to find out about volunteering opportunities with Age UK Mid Devon, you can call the office on 01884 255 369.
We have some great new volunteering opportunities in Mid Devon - if you have a bit of spare time and think you could support us in improving the lives of older people in our community then get in touch!
We depend on the generous support of many individuals in the community who recognise the importance of the work we do by making a donation, large or small, or deciding to leave us a legacy in their will.
There are plenty of ways that you can help to fundraise for Age UK Mid Devon. Sponsored activities, events or cake sales all help to raise valuable and much-needed funds to help us continue the vital work we do.
Age UK Mid Devon buys site of Haven Centre
Age UK Mid Devon are delighted to announce that they will be purchasing the site of The Haven Centre, home to their popular activity day centre in Tiverton. This marks the culmination of a year of negotiations with Devon County Council, who have worked hard to ensure that the site is available for continued use by the community.
Chief Officer Deborah Bridger-Elerick said “We are thrilled to be opening a new chapter in the history of this long-running and well-respected local charity. We have worked closely with Devon County Council in securing the site as a long-term base for our organisation, and are grateful to them for the recognition of the valued services that we provide to older people in Mid Devon.”
Positive People, Positive Change
Our volunteers are the lifeblood of our organisation. They help us deliver our services to clients across the District, and provide us with a broad range of skills and expertise.
We’ve put together a range of aids to help you understand how volunteering really makes a difference – how by bringing your skills, experience and enthusiasm and harnessing them in the positive work done by Age UK Mid Devon, can really help make a positive difference in people’s lives. Remember, you don’t have to change much, to change everything.
Click here for more.
Volunteer Visitor Service – helping older people reconnect with their community
As autumn sweeps into view and the memories of the long summer days began to fade, Age UK Mid Devon is asking people to think about those facing the autumn of their lives.
As family and friends move away, and as factors such as illness, disability or bereavement make getting out and about more of a challenge, it can be easy for an elderly person to lose contact with the outside world. The resulting loneliness and isolation can be hard to bear - but Age UK Mid Devon can help.
Click here for more.
They think it's all over... if that is what you thought about your footballing days, think again! Age UK Mid Devon has teamed up with Exeter City FC, Magelake Hall, Mid Devon District Council, Devon FA and Active Devon to launch Walking Football sessions in across the District.
Sessions are being run on a Tuesday in Cullonpton, a Wednesday in Crediton, and a Thursday at Magelake Hall in Uffculme. All sessions cost just £3, with the first session free. To book a place, call us on 01884 255 369. Give it a go - those dreams of footballing glory never need fade!
Click here for full story.
Age UK Mid Devon work to help you keep warm this winter
Age UK Mid Devon is delighted to be working once again with E.ON and First Utility on the Warm Homes Programme. This innovative programme will see our team of advocates talking to older people across the District this coming Autumn and Winter, to give them advice on how to stay warm and save energy. We will also be checking that clients are claiming all benefits and entitlements that they are eligible for, and helping them with any forms or paperwork needed to get claims started.
The Warm Home Discount Scheme is a government-run initiative that offers eligible clients £140 off their electricity bill for the year. It is applied as a discount to energy bills between October and April. You may be eligible for this scheme if you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit , if you are on a low income, or if you get certain means-tested benefits.
Age UK works in partnership with E-On and First Utility to offer benefits take-up advice, and to give information about the Warm Homes Discount scheme and general energy-saving advice. With nearly £3 billion in Pension Credit unclaimed each year, a huge number of older households could be entitled to extra help to pay bills. Whether it’s a regular entitlement, or a one-off payment like the Warm Homes Discount, every penny can really help make a difference to an older person.
If you are an older person on a low income, and you would like us to check that you are receiving all the help you are entitled to from the government - or if you know someone who fits that description – we will be delighted to help. Last year Age UK Mid Devon helped older people claim over £700,000 in state entitlements, and we talked to well over 100 households about the Warm Homes Discount Scheme.
For more information, or to book a benefits check session with one of our trained advisors, you can call us on 01884 255 369