On 14th June, MHA’s Stoke North Live at Home Scheme will be celebrating its 25th anniversary at the Floral Hall, Tunstall, Stoke on Trent. Taking place from 12.30-3.30pm, The Lord Mayor Cllr Ross Irving and other local dignitaries will be in attendance.
Since 1989, the national charity MHA has run Live at Home, local schemes promoting independence and wellbeing for people aged 60 and over who, as the name suggests, continue to live in their own homes.
Live at Home helps to alleviate loneliness and isolation among older people who still live independently in their own home. MHA currently has 61 Live at Home Schemes across England, Scotland and Wales, serving 10,330 older people as Members and supported by 2,228 volunteers.
As the number of older people dramatically rises in the UK, loneliness and isolation is becoming a national issue. MHA’s Live at Home schemes are a lifeline for thousands of older people, who are at risk of developing mental health issues due to loneliness.
The scheme provides members with a combination of friendship and a variety of services and support, helping them to feel engaged and energised. Activities include one-to-one befriending, exercise clubs, shopping, lunch clubs, day trip outings and even holidays.
Stoke North Live at Home scheme Manager, Liz Daley said “For a lot of our members our scheme is the only thing they come to all week; we might be the only people they see all week.
“Can you imagine sitting within the same four walls for a day? Some members of our communities do it 6 or 7 days a week. They just want company; social interaction with other human beings, someone to talk to.”
Joy Wesley, a member at Stoke North Live at Home whose life has been enriched by the scheme said “There is nothing worse than being on your own. It doesn’t matter how much money you’ve got, but if you don’t have any company, life is nothing; that’s what I miss most of all.”
Phylis Speakman, another member at Stoke North Live at Home said of the scheme “We make strong friendships, we get a lovely meal and you get well looked after, you get transport that brings you and takes you home, what more than that can I ask? There’s nothing more I can ask for. I think it’s very, very good. It’s just enjoyable.”