Local charity, the Harrogate Easier Living Project (HELP) has recently achieved several milestones delivering its services to older and vulnerable people in the Harrogate District.

Volunteer car drivers with the charity’s Driving Force service have notched up their 1000th journey since May, with drivers carrying out an average of 40 journeys every week for passengers who would otherwise struggle to get out and about. Around a third of all journeys undertaken assist people to get to medical appointments, a further third are to attend day care and lunch clubs. The remaining journeys help local people to make both essential trips and social visits.

The charity’s Help at Home has also been busy assisting local people with practical work around the home. Since April, 104 new clients in Harrogate approached the charity with requests for work they are unable to do themselves, such as gardening, decorating and odd jobs. In addition to addressing practical needs, the Help at Home service also helps to improve clients’ wellbeing. Over 70% reported improved confidence about living at home and feeling less anxious as a result of the support they received from the charity.

The charity is experiencing unprecedented demand for its services, which it attributes to the growing number of people living independently without family or friends nearby to support them. Anna Woollven from HELP said: “Until now we are fortunate to have been able to meet this demand due our fantastic team of volunteers. Our ageing population and cuts to local services mean this demand is only set to increase. We know there are more people who need our help. In order to satisfy this need, we urgently require more volunteers to come forward.”

Volunteer roles vary from befriending and volunteer driving to practical work with the charity’s Help at Home service.  More information about volunteering with HELP can be found at http://www.helpharrogate.org.uk/ways-to-help/volunteerroles/ or by contacting the HELP office directly help@harcvs.org.uk 01423 813090