Older people in rural parts of Hampshire will continue to be supported to become more involved in their local communities thanks to a grant of £58,000 awarded yesterday (9 March), by the Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry.
The grant will be used to recruit and train additional members of the community to act as Village Agents, and brings the total County Council funding of the scheme to £108,000.
Awarding the grant at his Decision Day meeting, Councillor Perry said: “According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, research shows that isolation and loneliness have a significant impact on people’s mental and physical health – increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke, and the chances of developing clinical dementia. There are a great many services available to help older people and their families remain connected in their communities, but they are often not aware of them. Village Agents play an important role in helping people to find the support they need.
“With 60 Village Agents already in place across the county we have seen this early intervention successfully enabling older people to remain living independently for longer in their own homes - with access to the services they require. The scheme also encourages people to become more involved in their local neighbourhoods - building stronger rural communities and reducing social isolation.”
The Village Agent Scheme is part of a wider programme to support people to connect better with their local communities and operates in rural areas across the county. Agents assist vulnerable older people to access information on issues such as day care, foot care, computer training, transport for shopping and medical appointments, finding reputable tradespeople, and help around the home.
The scheme is managed by Hampshire County Council, and delivered by Age Concern Hampshire. Since the scheme was established in July 2012, over 60 Village Agents have completed more than 7,681 volunteer hours and have helped more than 13,000 people.
Alternatively, visit Age Concern Hampshire’s website