Charity seeking 'good neighbours' to fill in gaps in social and health care in South Lakes and Furness

The Westmorland Gazette: GOOD NEIGHBOURS: Project leader Sarah Thornborrow with volunteer Pam Pattinson GOOD NEIGHBOURS: Project leader Sarah Thornborrow with volunteer Pam Pattinson

SOUTH Lakes charity The Oaklea Trust has launched a Good Neighbours scheme to fill in gaps in social and health support for vulnerable people.

The new initiative follows additional funding from the Cumbria Third Sector Consortium (C3C) as part of the Neighbourhood Care Independence Programme.

The Good Neighbours programme is aimed at people in South Lakes and Furness who may be vulnerable or at risk of becoming vulnerable, such as older people, people with disabilities, single parents and young mothers, people temporarily in need through illness or anyone who may be isolated in the community.

It includes befriending and companionship, shopping, general housework, long term home support, dog walking, gardening, driving beneficiaries to medical appointment and offering information about local sources of help.

Project leader Sarah Thornborrow now wants to establish a team of volunteer visitors and identify beneficiaries who would welcome this support.

She said: “Oaklea Good Neighbours is a really unique project which puts people together - those who need a little helping hand and those who can regularly spare a few hours to volunteer.

“There are so many things we take for granted, like making a cup of tea, tidying the garden, picking up a few groceries from the shops or just doing the laundry. Imagine if you weren’t able to do this, through illness or incapacity, or if you were recuperating from a stay in hospital, who could you rely on? Giving up a little time and helping could make a huge difference to someone in your local community.”

If you know of anyone who you feel would benefit in South Lakes or Furness, or who would like to join the team of Good Neighbour volunteers call The Oaklea Trust on 01539 735 025 or email customer.advice@oakleatrust.co.uk

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