SCA Care and Age UK Southampton have come together to change the way day services for older people across Southampton are delivered. The traditional model of day centres, offering cups of tea and craft activities from an armchair are set to become a thing of the past.
The new service, named ‘Southampton Living Well’ aims to reach a wide range of people with different life experiences and interests. On offer will be day trips to local places of interest, or trips further afield such as to the beach in fine weather. Visits to special interest groups and sports grounds to watch local teams compete are also up and running. All these are activities that people in Southampton have said they would like to keep on doing, despite the health complications of older age.
In addition to taking people out and about in the local area, a new network of community hubs is being created. These hubs will offer bespoke activities and visitors tailored to the interests of those attending on any particular day. A hot lunch, refreshments and door-to-door transport is also available.
Fiona Hardie, Head of Business Development, Social Care in Action, said ‘We are desperately in need of a space in the Bitterne/Thornhill area of Southampton to set up a new community hub. Our previous hub in this area can no longer be used and at the moment we are running two hubs from one location, meaning we can’t support as many people as we would like to. We are looking for something the size of a large community room, that is fully wheelchair accessible, preferably with access to a kitchen so we can provide refreshments. Outside space so we can enjoy the warmer weather when it arrives would be a bonus.’
This new way of working to support people to live a meaningful life well into older age draws on the extensive experience of both organisations, and places individuals and communities at the heart of the offer, recognising that as we grow older our expectations and enthusiasm for life don’t change.
Ricky Rossiter, Director of Integrated Services for SCA Care said: ‘I am delighted to see that all our hard work and planning over the past 12 months has come together to provide opportunities for older people in Southampton that we would all want to make use of. By providing exciting day trips and meaningful opportunities we know that improved mental wellbeing and new friendships along with the support of our Community Enablers will mean older adults across the city will be at lower risk of ill health, and less likely to need admission to hospital.’
Peter Bennie, Chief Officer at Age UK Southampton said ‘We are delighted to be working in partnership with SCA Care to make a real change to the way that older people are supported to live their life in Southampton. We recognise this as a real opportunity to pool our expertise and for older people to enjoy the benefits of linking the Southampton Living Well service with our wider range of support. There will also be exciting ways for people to volunteer in the service where they can learn new skills whilst making a difference in their local community.’
If anyone is interested in finding out more about this new service, or has information about premises that may be useful, then please call our team on 023 8060 1245 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, cups of tea and a friendly chat will always remain available, no matter what the activity!