What we did before Covid-19:
At Age Concern Crediton, we have had to reinvent our services to older people because of Covid-19. Much of our previous work entailed collecting clients every day, many of whom had some form of disability, and taking them into our Day Centre where we entertained them to help stimulate them and to give their families and carers some respite. Included in their day with us was a freshly-cooked two-course meal, eaten at tables with their peers for company.
We also provided Home Support services (such as cleaning), together with a Wellbeing service.
What we now do:
Covid-19 forced the closure of our Day Centre and supporting charity shop, which meant we lost much of our income. If our services had stopped, our elderly clients would have remained in their homes and many would have been in danger of becoming isolated, even within the town. Instead of abandoning them, we opted to telephone them daily in their homes and to deliver groceries and prescriptions to their homes.We then began providing free fish and chips each Friday to around 50 elderly people in their own homes, with the support of local people and organisations. Those deliveries are spread over a wide rural area, as well as in the town of Crediton itself. We then added a second free freshly cooked two-course meal on Tuesdays, cooked in our kitchen in the Day Centre, before being taken out by volunteers to our clients. However, we no longer have the funding to continue these free meals, without further support.
Separately, using PPE, we have restarted Home Support and Wellbeing services into the homes of clients, as there is a demand and need that only we can provide. As one client said "It's great to have her back. She's just so helpful"
All theses services cost money at a time when we have lost most of our income.
What we should like to do:
Our services into people's homes have been widely praised and appreciated and we should like to expand them as there may be other older people in Mid Devon leading isolated and vulnerable lives that we currently cannot reach. Covid-19 has increased the lack of confidence among the elderly about the new world that has emerged and we find that many currently prefer not to leave their homes. The services we provide means that they have familiar faces and voices helping them to keep them in touch with the wider community and not becoming isolated.
There is no-one else able to provide the services we do locally.
Please help us to help the elderly people of Mid Devon.