NBFA Assisting the Elderly

Regionalisation Programme

NBFA seeks to regionalise to spread knowledge about its work, help more people, assist its fundraising and keep closer contact with and between its beneficiaries.

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Registered Charity in England and Wales (1147446)

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    Categories

  • Community Support & DevelopmentCommunity Support & Development
  • Health/WellbeingHealth/Wellbeing
  • Human Rights/AdvocacyHuman Rights/Advocacy
  • OtherOther

    Helping

  • Older PeopleOlder People

Location

Situation

Regionalisation Programme NBFA has ambitious plans, and one of the chief things we would like to achieve is an increased regional presence. This would take the form of a network of volunteer representatives, ultimately spread over as much of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as possible. The volunteer representatives would generally be older people who had already benefitted from our services themselves. They would organise local social events for former NBFA beneficiaries and would help to publicise our services in their community, furthering our aims of ending the isolation of older people on low incomes. We have consulted with our beneficiaries on this issue through a dedicated questionnaire to determine how such a scheme could be of benefit to them: they have generally been very positive about the initiative. We have also commissioned a key piece of independent research by an independent organisation (currently ongoing) which will further allow us to understand and provide for the needs of those we serve. We will undertake a pilot programme to help us determine the best strategy for implementing the scheme more widely. Why this work is needed Apart from the regional groupings giving us another way to combat isolation, through promoting face-to-face contact between older people on low incomes, their activities would help with our efforts to promote our services. One of the challenges for NBFA is that we are a small organisation (with only four full-time staff) but we endeavour to cover all of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. An increased regional presence would mean that more people would hear of our work and would be directed to one or more of our three major services. One of the best ways our work spreads is through word of mouth. Keeping in touch A further benefit is that we hope the regional groups will serve as a medium for us to listen to our beneficiaries, and be able to tailor our work to their needs and the needs of all older people in poverty. This is especially important in a recession where the number of people in need is growing fast. In addition, we want to promote our beneficiaries keeping in touch with each other, and would like to coordinate a ‘penpal’ programme which would help them maintain links, while respecting issues of data protection. We leave our Holiday Breaks-Away Programme with a healthy list of contacts but we recognise that our help may be needed to initiate and sustain post-holiday friendships. We hope that the regional network would help us promote and strengthen our existing services, which are explained below. Free Breaks-Away Holidays: Quote from a beneficiary: ‘I am like a snail that has come out of its shell and for that, NBFA, I cannot thank you enough” NBFA Breaks–Away Holidays provide a re-energising change of scene by taking people away on free holidays to British resorts. Participants have the opportunity to make new friends, allowing them to return to their domestic situations more socially optimistic. Breaks-Away help tackle the issues of loneliness, marginalisation and isolation. Individual Pain Relief units: Quote from a beneficiary: ‘It has given me my life back’. Pain relief units hold the key to giving people physical independence and freedom from relentless pain, helping them to live fuller, more active lives and easing their families’ worries. Mrs J Thomas of Forest Hill said ‘I cannot wait to start, the relief from aches and pains of the last four years, will be like Xmas seven days of the week’. Emergency Alarms: Quote from a beneficiary: ‘My Dad can remain independent and I can have peace of mind’. Emergency alarms can help to maintain independence and create a more peaceful, secure life. They assist not only the beneficiary, but a whole network of friends and relations. The supplier of the alarms, provides the shocking statistic that in the UK, one older person dies every five hours after a fall in the home. Financial plans for the regionalisation programme are for around £100,000 spread from 2009-2012. Money is needed to promote the project, to help run the local events, for the penpal initiative and for other set-up and running costs.

Solution