Age UK North Yorkshire & Darlington
HomeNewsCoronavirus - Age UK North Yorkshire & Darlington launches a range of services to support self-isolating older people.

Coronavirus - Age UK North Yorkshire & Darlington launches a range of services to support self-isolating older people.

Posted on Wednesday, 18 March 2020 1:21 pm | Category: Coronavirus In light of the Government announcements this week we're making significant changes to our services during the outbreak to best support older people in crisis.

In accordance with new Government advice released this week Age UK North Yorkshire & Darlington will be making significant changes from today to the services the organisation provides. The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented, once in a generation challenge for the whole global community. As an organisation Age UK North Yorkshire & Darlington plays an important role in supporting older people across Darlington, Hambleton, Richmondshire, Harrogate and South Craven and we will be making major changes to our services with immediate effect in order to best serve our community at this difficult time.

With immediate effect the charity will be temporarily suspending all social activities, home visits and face-to-face appointments and befriending visits. Information & Advice services will continue to run offering a telephone advice service only. Café Refresh at Bradbury House will also close to the public, but the Sunday Dinner Delivery service will continue to run for the time being. Day Care services will also be closing during this time to reduce risk of transmission and to allow carers to focus on providing priority home care services.

The purpose of these changes are to allow Age UK North Yorkshire & Darlington to maximise its resources to allow the charity to focus on providing the support needed by those who are self-isolating to maintain their health and wellbeing in order to reduce the burden on the NHS and Local Authorities so that they can focus on helping those who need it most. In order to do this the charity will be concentrating all of its resources on the following areas:
• Expanding telephone befriending services to prevent loneliness and ensure the wellbeing of self-isolating older people.
• Introducing a hot meal referral service for self-isolating over 70s and vulnerable groups aged over 50, initially limited to Darlington and parts of Richmondshire only, to provide a 2-course basic set menu comprising a hot main course and dessert for only £5 including delivery. Orders can be made by calling 01325 741492 by 11 am on the day needed or emailing Payment is cash or cheque only at present but the charity is looking at providing card and bank payments as an alternative in future.
• A temporary free volunteer shopping service where volunteers will collect shopping for older people and drop it off at their homes. The charity will also work with local supermarkets and food producers to try to ensure continuity of food supply for older people.
• The charity has launched a local rate helpline number on 0300 30 20 100 for advice on how to access our extra services and a dedicated email address for concerns at The helpline is open between 8:30 am to 4:00 pm Mon - Fri.
• Age UK North Yorkshire and Darlington will also continue to post information on their website and social media channels including the latest relevant Government and NHS information for older people, advice on avoiding coronavirus related scams, virtual activities and will be posting advice and tips on how to cope with long-term isolation in the home.
• Not all older people are able to access online services so in parallel with the digital offering the charity will also be developing non-digital alternatives including promoting volunteer pen-friends and a free newsletter including tips, advice, articles and puzzles. These will be made available in printed form and as digital downloads for people to print off and give to neighbours.

To provide these services the charity will need help from the community, there is a need for volunteers to become telephone befrienders, volunteer shoppers, to help deliver hot meals and help with answering the phones and other administrative tasks. Many of the volunteer roles can be done on an evening or a weekend and will go a long way to help support those in the community and from home.

In order to provide these services, Age UK North Yorkshire and Darlington is urging individuals and businesses to consider giving a financial donation to allow us to continue to provide these services through this time. The organisation will lose a large percentage of their usual income through the closure of activities, daycare and the café and will need extra financial resources to cover the costs of running new community services.

At this difficult time, it is important to recognise that there are a number of other charities and new informal organisations that are being set up and mobilising to assist older people in the community. Age UK North Yorkshire & Darlington will be aiming to work alongside these organisations to ensure that together we can deliver necessary help to older people without duplicating efforts and also provide help and advice to other groups and organisations as needed.

As a community, we will be facing some difficult and challenging months ahead and Age UK North Yorkshire & Darlington remains committed to ensuring that older people in the community are given the help and resources they need to get through this time. The charity looks forward to returning to delivering their full portfolio of services soon and give sincere thanks for everyone’s patience, support and understanding at this time.

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Age UK Darlington is a registered charity (Registered Charity No. 1128377) registered in England and Wales as a Limited Company no. 6817492). Registered address: Bradbury House, Beaumont Street West, Darlington, County Durham, DL1 5SX.

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