As funding for community based activities for older people comes under increased pressure, cases of loneliness and isolation are on the rise. To help combat this, Hanover Housing Association has been exploring different ways of improving the health and wellbeing of its residents.
When Carol Atkinson, a local manager at Fernbank Court in Selby, noticed that some residents were becoming isolated after the closure of local authority activities, she contacted the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) to see what they could help provide.
After meeting with RVS it was agreed that the organisation would provide volunteers to support residents at the estate. Every Wednesday the volunteers set-up a mobile café at the estate, which sees 30 residents regularly attend the coffee morning. In addition the enthusiastic volunteers run activities that can be enjoyed by family members, including quizzes and party games.
Being at the estate on such a regular basis enables the volunteers to engage with residents and promote other services that RVS deliver, such as befriending and community transport.
David Budding, resident, Fernbank Court “Although Fernbank Court is a lovely place to live many of my neighbours used kept to themselves. These coffee mornings are great way to make new friends and catch up with my neighbours.”
Lisa Smith, Housing Manager, Hanover Housing Association said: “The Royal Voluntary Service volunteers are an integral part of the estate. The 18 months of hard work to get the scheme up and running has been well worth it – since the mobile café began residents are much happier and more socially interactive.”