“The relief at seeing my garden transformed rather took me by surprise and has restored my faith and boosted my confidence.”
What we do
Most people want to remain living independently for as long as possible. However, this can be challenging if you are frail, living with disability or long-term physical or mental health conditions. With the help of over 100 volunteers, we support people across the Harrogate district to stay well supported at home. Our services include:
- Volunteer befriending and social groups
- Voluntary car driving services to enable those who can’t access public transport due to rural location and/or limited mobility to attend medical appointments, make social visits, attend day centres and make essential trips such as shopping or banking.
- ‘Help at Home’ gardening, decorating and odd job service for people unable to do the work themselves or could not afford a professional tradesperson
Who we help
We support anyone with conditions related to health or old age which prevents them from doing things they want/need to. It is particularly important to us to be able to help people living without a network of family and friends, or with full-time caring responsibilities, or those who cannot afford to pay for such services.
The difference we make
Something as simple as providing a lift, helping with the gardening or taking the time to listen can have a significant impact on our clients’ health and well-being, often enabling them to continue living independently within their own homes for longer. As well as assisting people on a practical level, much of what we do is about reducing levels of loneliness. Volunteers provide a social lifeline to our beneficiaries by providing a listening ear and conversation. Indeed, one client refers to our volunteer drivers as a ‘social lifeline’, helping her to attend her local lunch club and re-establish her ties with her community. The lady also benefits from a weekly catch up with her volunteer driver, who she now considers to be like a friend.
Our project outcomes are good. Our volunteers remove barriers to getting out and about such as lack of confidence to go out alone and lack of transport. Beneficiaries tell us they feel less isolated, less lonely, have more opportunities for social interaction and feel more confident about living alone as a result of our support.
Rising local need
Demand for our services has rocketed in recent years. We support people across the Harrogate district with over 10,000 journeys each year, helping them to link up with friends, local services and support groups. We also provide much valued company and activities to people who may rarely leave their home. Given the local ageing population (By 2020, the number of residents 85+ will increase by 9.3% ), we are dedicated to tackling the loneliness epidemic affecting all levels of our society.
“My voluntary befriender and I are now good friends.
Loneliness is my biggest problem as it is with most widows and elderly people.”