Our Recovery Service is an innovative means of supporting older people to recover from harmful experiences, and develop the skills and confidence to regain independence and stay safe in the future.
The service is provided by trained local volunteers, who support older people in their own home or in a neutral environment of their choosing. At the outset, the older person considers what they would like to get out of the service, and with the support of their volunteer, will identify a series of individual goals to work towards.
While the service includes an element of befriending, it goes much further by focussing on recovery, building resilience, and enabling older people to regain their confidence and independence, and re-integrate into their local community. Empowerment is at the heart of the project, and our volunteers work with the older person to support and encourage them to make decisions and take actions themselves.
What support is provided?
Older people are matched with local volunteers to support them in their recovery. Volunteers come from all backgrounds and could be someone who has recovered from abuse themselves, is of a similar age, or has similar interests. The key factor is that the older person is matched with someone they feel comfortable with.
The older person chooses what the type of support most appropriate to their needs, and could include:
- Friendship and emotional support.
- Help to develop confidence and build resilience.
- Supporting the older person to gain or regain independence.
- Taking part in social activities.
- Helping the older person to develop a support network and more social opportunities.
We’ll work to engage the older person with their local community as much as possible, encouraging them to take part in the things they used to do, as well as introducing them to new activities and social groups.
Moving towards a community based model:
While there are significant benefits of a one-to-one model (ie. a volunteer working directly with an individual older person), we want to increase our reach to work with more older people and focus on prevention and early intervention. In time we will introduce more aspects to the service which will allow us to both support older people after they have experienced harm or abuse, as well as preventing the abuse of older people in the first place. This could include:
- Encouraging members of the local community to help us raise awareness of safer ageing.
- Tackling loneliness and social isolation among older people – a key risk factor in the abuse of older people.
- Providing opportunities for group-based support to make it easier for older people to speak up, and widen their support network.
How we’re already helping:
Find out more about some of the older people we are already helping on our recovery service stories page.
How can I get support?
We currently have services in Sussex and Fife, and will shortly be delivering a new service in the North of England.
If you’d like to find out about the project in Sussex, please contact Gail Shanahan, Project Coordinator:
Tel. 0750 882 3975
If you’d like to find out about the project in Fife, please contact Colin Scott, Project Coordinator (Scotland):
Tel. 0749 632 3801