Make a resolution to help vulnerable and isolated people in the Vale in 2013
12:10pm Tuesday 1st January 2013 in News
THE British Red Cross is urging people looking for a challenge to give their time to a new service that supports vulnerable and isolated people across the Vale of Glamorgan.
Gofal Y Ddolen is a new county-wide service funded by the Welsh Government and implemented by the Red Cross, but it urgently needs more volunteers to help ensure that the right support is available to vulnerable members of the community.
Gofal – meaning “care” in Welsh - is a befriending and enabling service. Volunteers visit vulnerable older people (50 years and older) in their homes for up to 12 weeks, helping them to combat loneliness and isolation and encouraging social interaction by linking them up with local social groups and services.
Rob Purnell, community support team leader, said: “Unfortunately, older people in our communities are much more vulnerable to isolation and loneliness, especially during the winter months.
“This new service gives vulnerable people, who may not have family or friends to rely on, additional help so that they feel confident to remain living independently in their own homes. Regular contact will also reduce the likelihood of them developing medical or emotional health problems such as stress and anxiety which could result in them entering the health-care system.”
Volunteers are needed to make regular visits to those needing a little extra help to develop a package of support based on individual needs. Volunteers could offer practical help such as transport to attend community groups or signposting to other services that could help alleviate their isolation.
Rob explained: “We want to encourage local people to volunteer to help vulnerable people living in their community as they really would be making a real difference to the lives of others.”
Volunteers must be over 18 and able to commit to regular visits. Tasks include anything from simply offering knowledge and encouragement to companionship and support to undertake a social activity within the community.
The service generally operates Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm, although out of hours support can be arranged if all parties are in agreement. Volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of 3-4 hours per week for a maximum of 12 weeks. Reasonable travel expenses, identification and full training are provided.
Those who wish to find out more can call Rob Purnell on 07921 404 327 or email CardiffCSS@redcross.org.uk
Alternatively visit www.redcross.org.uk/Get-involved/Volunteer for further information.