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Loughton Voluntary Care Association

LVC is a completely volunteer organisation; nobody is paid. We support, usually, older, frail IG10 residents, mostly by providing transport to hospital and other medical appointments and offering an arm where necessary. LVC also provides a befriending service in clients’ homes and a weekly escorted shopping service using an easy-access minibus. Being small and flexible we can usually respond to other requests from people who need the help of a good neighbour. In 2015 144 clients used us. In February 2015, in partnership with Barclays Bank, LVC launched our Silver Surfer Club (iPad familiarisation session for older people: in October 2015 we started a six-week course to enable functional use. We have also “nudged” local taxi firms to offer a Silver Service (offering the same “elder-friendly” service that LVC does, at no extra cost) to embolden older people to go out and do what they want. Although not a faith group, we partner with local churches providing linked services, including a monthly fish and chip lunch (which regularly attracts 30 people) and tea parties. 2016 projects include hosting a weekly board and card games group at Loughton Library and a buddy scheme enabling those who have lost the confidence to go out alone. We receive regular funding from client donations and Epping Forest District Council and have made successful bids for the Silver Surfer Club and our befriending/buddying service. Living a good old age is one of the crucial issues of our time. LVC believes that by listening to that voice and by responding quickly in a dynamic and innovative way, we can both promote and practically assist a better old age.

Updated:
2 February 2017
Location:
East of England
Sectors:
Community organisations, Social Care, Transport Sector, Voluntary
Local Alliances:
Epping Forest Dementia Action Alliance (EFDAA)

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

LVC supports older people in living independent lives as fully as possible

Physical well-being through offering a supported service in driving people to medical appointments.  Local hospital transport services will often refuse to take a spouse as escort.Our drivers get clients get to the correct department and, on request, will go in with a lone passenger to take notes. We provide a service designed around individual needs.

Also through our initiatives to beat loneliness – befriending, escorted shopping, Silver Surfer Club, fish and chip lunch and other social activities – we are promoting better physical and mental health in older people and offering a safe suported environment. Here they can have a sense of belonging and of being a valued part of community and civic life.

Lastly (but not least): community cohesion: we work in partnership or liaise closely with local groups delivering similar services – churches, drop-in centres, community nurses, Rotary, Alzheimer’s Society. Together we are stronger, providing a raft of support for all older people in Loughton so that their voice may be heard.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

We generally find that what is good practice regarding people with dementia is good practice for all older people.  In-house dementia awareness training has been given to interested volunteers.  Operating in a cab-office controller kind of way, we never get all volunteers together. There is a problem of consistency in understanding and communication.

For the driving we operate by telephone, not face-to-face and sometimes find that arrangements are not undertood or remembered properly.

It is also hard to persuade those who have lost confidence in social situations through dementia or any other cause, to take advantage of what we offer in terms of social inclusion.

2. Actions

  • To offer a Dementia Information Session to all volunteers

    As part of ongoing volunteer training, a Dementia Information Session will be offered to all volunteers.

    Status:
    Planning

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    new members

  • To provide or signpost a variety of social activities which people with dementia and carers might enjoy

    We already provide a number of group activities which are attended by people with dementia.  These include a weekly escorted shopping trip, weekly games group and a Silver Surfer Club using tablets.

    In partnership with other groups we take older people, again some with dementia, to a monthly fish and chip lunch, and a bi-monthly tea-party.

    We recognise that everyone prefers to find their own like-minded companionship and these sesions aim to provide all attendees with this opportunity.

     

     

    Status:
    Delivery

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    new member

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    new member

  • Buddy Scheme

    This scheme is along the lines of the Alzheimer's Society Dementia Connections whereby people living in IG10, including those with dementia, who have lost their confidence in going out, can go to any activity of their choice within IG10 and be supported by a volunteer buddy for 6 occasions using commercial taxis. The difference is that the cost of the taxi is met by LVC. There is no cost to the client, although donations are always welcome. We would hope that, after the 6 visits, the user will have gained the confidence to go in and pay for the taxi by themselves because they value the outing. Referrals will be through the Community Nurses,GPs and other health professionals, through our volunteers and through self-referral and enquiry to our website; users would ordinarily have fewer than one other social outing per week.

    Status:
    Delivery

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    new member