As a charity we have always been part of our community. A voice for the unheard and caring support with a listening ear for those who need it but we also know loving later life goes beyond the crisis and into social interaction, exercise, culture, art and groups of common interest.
Pre COVID-19 we provided weekly 6 day centres, 6 dementia service centre, stroke rehab service, living with and beyond cancer service, mental health support, bereavement support, 39 exercise classes, income maximisation through benefits advice and claims, advocacy, housing aids and adaptations and palative care. There was also 38 social groups provided monthly for clients.
Prescription / pension collection
Staff have contact energy suppliers on behalf of 153 people to
Defer over 87 bills
Remotely top up 57 electric meters ( deferred billing)
Remotely top up 88 Gas meters ( deferred billing)
On line Fitness
The organisation has established Active Age over a ten year period in Gateshead and recently inherited Active Age provision from the now folded Age UK Newcastle. The project developed over ten years ago runs on the principal that each class has enough attendees to cover its running costs with any surplus going into expansion and the provision of free taster sessions across the borough.
Newcastle tutors have collectively delivered on line tuition via zoom to not only their own client base but that of Gateshead attendees with participation level increasing substantial over the last 6 weeks. The organisation has facilitated this process by contacting each Active Age Client and offering them the opportunity to take part, sending the zoom link to click and be in the virtual class.
Mental Health Support
we are managing to support 72 individual at point of crisis with a further 101 needing continuous welfare provision. The service has seen an increase in supporting those who are threatening suicide from 3 a month to 5 a week.
Our Bereavement Support Team helps individuals and families with practical support in the days and weeks following a loss. Staff and volunteers help clients with anything that might be needed, from registering the death to arranging the funeral, writing letters and sorting through personal effects. The Service also recognises that clients, who have experienced bereavement, can find it difficult to talk to family or friends about problems or to confide and explain how they are feeling.
Respite Sitting Service
Age UK Gateshead to provide a dementia support service currently support 48 clients with attendance levels per session standing at 18 per day over 6 days a week. We recognised the vulnerabilities of not only these clients but their next of kin and therefore provide a respite sitting service over 7 days a week:
38 clients access respite care
Daily we provide 37 hours of respite care
All clients receive hot meals
All clients receive Cognitive Behaviour and fine motor skills provision
Activity packs that meet their interests
Family face time (the reassurance and impact of this service is invaluable)
Daily welfare visits
Daily prompted medication visits
Pre COVID the organisation had a client base of 10,789 with an active client base of 3,851 supported by 32 staff (18 Full Time Equivalent) and 147 volunteers. During the pandemice these numbers changed drastically to had a client base of 14,789 with an active client base of 11,851 supported by 22 staff (11 FTE) and 2149 volunteers.
The organisation closed its Info and Advice provision and restructured its process to mirror those of a contact centre along with phone scripts and service policies, the team delt with:
- Incoming calls at peak levels are 5 every 58 seconds
- Incoming calls at low levels 1 every 6.4 minutes
- Average daily calls 200
- Busiest Day 10am – 3pm 632 calls
The organisation has run with a robust volunteer cohort of 147 volunteers however due to public health England guidance 87 of them had to self-isolate which is a reflection of the age of volunteer we have. Within the first week of lock down our volunteer base increased to 529 from direct applications to be part of making a change to their communities. In the following weeks we were joined by 17 mutual aid groups taking the volunteer number to 2149. Due to the relaxation Of GDPR we opened up the organisations CRM providing access to 27 Mutual Aid organisers within a restricted area of service requests, this enables full community delivery to meet service demand.
We would like to say a big thank you to:
Charities – Edberts House, FACT, Search, St Chads
Private Sector – LNER, Northern Gas, Sage Accounting, InTu Metro Centre
Public Sector – Gateshead Council, Gateshead College, QE – Hospital
Community - we have 189 Volunteers in Newcastle and 1960 in Gateshead.
Head Line Figures
- Number of Volunteers 2149
- Number of welfare calls made per month 34,349
- Number of incoming calls per month 5,600
- Number of hours respite care each month 1036
- Number of shopping trips per month 1004
- Number of prescriptions collected per month 448
- Number of Hot Meals per month 1680
- Number of people with mental health challenges supported 173