More users wanted for Red Cross care in the home service

THE Fenland branch of the British Red Cross wants more people to take advantage of its ‘care in the home’ service which has made a big impact on the local community since starting in June 2009.

Nearly 130 vulnerable people in Fenland have already benefited from this volunteer-led service and the Red Cross wants to help more local residents who are experiencing difficult times.

“Over the past year and a half our wonderful volunteers have been offering their support to people in Fenland who may be recovering from an illness or accident, mental health issues, alcohol abuse, depression or bereavement,” said Sarah Hall, Cambridgeshire health and social care manager for the Red Cross.

“We have found that by doing even simple things like helping with shopping, explaining how different organisations can help or just providing a listening ear, we have had a dramatic impact on the wellbeing of people in difficulty.

“It’s easy for people to lose confidence after an illness, injury or change in circumstances, and this can lead people to stay indoors and become scared to go out. We can often step in and develop a relationship gently where people find it difficult to accept outside support – sometimes all it takes is a bit of care from outside to help them to enjoy life again.”

“The feedback from the people we’ve helped has been humbling and gratifying,” said Sarah. “There have been cases where volunteers have visited people to help them retune their televisions, set up their computers or learn to knit dishcloths, and they’ve ended up establishing lasting friendships. One man said that thanks to us he felt he had a friend he could talk to and cry to for the first time in three years, and we have often seen much improved confidence, health and optimism in those we have worked with.

“As an organisation we help anyone in crisis, be they victims of natural disasters overseas or elderly people in UK towns struggling to care for an ailing spouse. We are very glad we have been able to help people in Fenland through some tough times, and we want to continue to do so. If you or anyone you know could benefit from our care in the home service, please do let us know.”

You can contact the Red Cross care in the home service for Fenland at the March office on 01354-659724 between 9am and 1pm each day.