Charity’s help means new lease of life - The Worcester Observer

Charity’s help means new lease of life

Worcester Editorial 4th May, 2017   0

A WORCESTER pensioner who had been left housebound for two years has praised a leading charity for giving her a new lease of life.

Sue Seers from Brookthorpe Close was referred to the Red Cross First Call Support at Home service after her deteriorating health left her without any transport for everyday activities.

The 66-year-old was in desperate need of a modified wheelchair to get out and about but was unable to afford it.

“I felt so down. I’d been stuck within four walls for years and I don’t like being indoors. I just wanted somebody to talk to. They listened and they cared,” Sue said.

After being referred, Sue was put in touch with support assistant Cath Brown who worked with the pensioner to identify the wheelchair she needed and apply for a grant for it.

“She was low and deflated when I first saw her, she was socially isolated and it was clear that we needed to get her out and about again,” Cath said.

“I noticed a big change in Sue’s personality after our initial meeting. The prospect of having a wheelchair gave her something to look forward to.

“She cried when she rang me up to tell me that her application for a grant to buy it had been successful. It was lovely,” she added.

Sue has christened her new wheelchair Isabella after a friend who passed away and lavished praise on the charity and Cath.

“Cath has been brilliant. I’m so glad the Red Cross are here to help people like me. My son can now push me to the shops and into town for a meal,” she said.

The First Call Support at Home service has been operating in Worcestershire since September 2016. It gives up to 12 weeks of support to people over the age of 60 who have been discharged from hospital or who have experienced an illness, bereavement or any other personal crisis.

Developed as a solution to ease pressure on health and social care systems, First Call Support at Home gives tailored support to people to live independently at home and avoid being admitted to hospital.

As well as providing companionship, volunteers also help with tasks like managing paperwork and finances and getting involved with social groups and activities.

Valerie Williams, independent living service manager for the British Red Cross in Worcestershire, said: “We know that visits and phone calls from our friendly volunteers can make a huge difference to someone recovering from an illness or after a stay in hospital, particularly if they don’t have close friends or family.

“We are working hard to secure funding to maintain the service and working closely with the NHS, local government and voluntary organisations to influence the development of community services in Worcestershire.”

Call 01905 450436 or e-mail [email protected] for more information.


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