All of the services we provide at Age UK Tameside are designed to help older people remain independent for as long as possible. We plan on being here for future generations of older people but we need the community’s help in order to do so. 

Age UK recently released a report warning that our nation is living on borrowed time in saving social care for older people from complete collapse. The report called on the government to commit to an urgent injection of funds in the spring budget, develop a long term solution to the care crisis, and engage with the public about how we pay for a decent care system we can all rely on when we need it.

Since that report was released, the government has committed to increasing funds in its Spring Budget and Tameside Council has announced that council tax will increase by 4.99 per cent to inject vital funds into our local social care system.

Until those funds start to trickle down to service providers like us, we will continue to experience difficulties in bridging the funding gap to provide services. As a result, we’ve taken the difficult decision to end some services and reduce our staff team to ensure the organisation’s survival.

Services that will no longer continue after March 31 include:

Handyperson Service
Our Handyperson Service has been a big part of our organisation for many years and has become a trusted provider for small jobs in the home. However, the service has operated at a loss in recent years and cannot continue. Clients who contact us to access the Handyperson Service will be directed to Tameside’s Buy with Confidence list from April 1.

Buddying Service
Our Buddying Service was a relatively recent addition to our choices of support for older people in the community. This service also operates at a loss and cannot continue. People who enquire about the Buddying Service will instead be offered our traditional Community Support Service, which provides a time limited amount of support in the community free of charge. Those who currently receive the service will be supported into other Age UK Tameside services or alternative schemes in the community.

The Shed
The Shed was originally funded through a grant from Tameside Council. When this funding ceased in 2014, we funded it through our reserves and charitable activities. But this has become unsustainable and will end on March 31. We are pleased to say, however, that the staff and volunteers at The Shed have been keen to continue to provide the service on a voluntary basis and we are supporting them to become an independent community interest organisation from April 1.

Day Support at Bradbury House, Glossop
Funding from Derbyshire County Council (DCC) for Day Support at Bradbury House has decreased over the years and since 2015 has only been funded three days per week. At the time, Age UK Tameside’s Board agreed to continue with a five day service, with the remaining two days costs to be met by attracting additional fee paying service users.
Despite our efforts to increase the number of fee paying clients, the take-up has not been sufficient and there have been no new referrals from DCC. As a result, the service has been in financial deficit for the last two years and will close on March 31.

We are supporting clients to find alternative day support that will meet their needs. We will continue to provide support for clients with functional mental health problems one day a week, funded through Tameside and Glossop CCG, and this provision is currently being
planned.

Dementia Support Service
In addition to these changes, our Dementia Support Service will change as the funding we initially had to run the service ended in October. However, we are committed to developing new and innovative ways to support people living with dementia, including through our Community Support Service, Day Support Service, Information and Advice and Falls Prevention Service. We will be supporting the thriving dementia support group which meets at our Independent Living Centre on Tuesdays to ensure that group is able to continue.

Retail Shops
Over the years income generated through retail activity has reduced. With the additional funding difficulties we face as an organisation, the board has taken the decision to cease retail operations. Our shop on Old Street in Ashton will close on March 31 whilst our shop on Stockport Road in Mossley will remain open until November.

We seriously regret the impact that these service closures will have on our clients, their carers and families. Age UK Tameside’s Board has a legal duty and responsibility to ensure that all of its services are financially sustainable and has not taken any of these decisions lightly.

Although we are facing difficult times, we intend to continue to provide quality services to current clients as well as those in the future. We encourage anyone who is able to help us get through this period – through volunteering, fundraising or making a donation – to please get in touch.

If you have any questions about these changes, please contact us on info@ageuktameside.com or 0161 308 5000.

From April 1, 2017, we will be providing the following services:

Day Support at our Independent Living Centre: daytime support for older people in a comfortable setting, including activities and hot meals

Community Support Service: a time limited amount of support in the community or a person’s home, free of charge

Information and Advice: support with specialist advisors on issues

Best Foot Forward Falls Prevention: a range of activities throughout the community to improve strength and balance

Contact us on 0161 308 5000, visit ageuk.org.uk/tameside or email info@ageuktameside.com to find out how we can support you or a loved one.