Community Warden Scheme provides support
19 Mar 2016
The Community Warden Scheme provides invaluable support for older village residents. GTC works in partnership with Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and currently provides funding for them to employ Gail Cooke as Community Warden in Girton, assisting older people living in their own homes to continue an independent lifestyle. Here Gail tells us about her role, how it helps our older Village residents and how to get in touch if you feel you – or a relative or friend – could benefit from this valuable service.
Gail started the job at the beginning of June 2015 and spent the early days getting out and about meeting people and familiarizing herself with the Village and what goes on. Nine months on, Gail is proving a very important source of help to a growing number of residents.
She says: “Each older person is telephoned each morning to check they are well and whether they have any particular requirements that day such as a prescription to be collected or a small amount of shopping to be done. Most people receive a visit two or three times per week but this is flexible and depends on a number of factors such as if they are feeling unwell, or they have a particular concern, or their family are away.
“What happens when I visit varies greatly according to who it is and what help they need. For instance it may be for a chat, or for those with sight problems to read the small print on food packaging or perhaps to assist them to communicate with other people and organisations. These visits are important for me to keep a watchful eye on any changes in their health and well-being and maybe to advise on how other agencies such as Occupational Therapy could assist with equipment to make life easier and help them to stay more independent.
Someone to listen
“Many older people appreciate the fact that I can provide a listening ear and to know they are not alone and any problems they have can be shared in confidence.
“Many service users live on their own, and perhaps find it difficult to get out and about. Or there may be couples where one of them is caring for a loved one who is not well which can be very isolating. Perhaps the family live away or are working, so it isn't that they don't care but lives are busy and the older people rightly, want to remain as independent as possible.
“Sometimes I can offer support over the telephone, which can often put minds at rest for example with ‘the official letter’ they have received that is worrying them or they have suddenly remembered it is someone’s birthday and they cannot get out to buy a card. A telephone conversation or a quick trip to get them a card really can make all the difference.
“My role is so rewarding and I often hear lovely appreciative comments such as: "We are so lucky in this village to have the Community Warden Scheme" and "I don't know how I would manage without you.” This is such a valuable local service by people who care, for local people.”
Can the Scheme help you?
If you would like to hear more about how the Scheme can help, please get in touch via the GTC Office, by contacting the Community Warden directly or through your GP. Gail will usually visit within a couple of days to discuss if the Scheme would be helpful and leave details so you can think about it, either for now or sometime in the future.