Something New for Older PeopleYou’ve got a friend … and a whole lot more
Something new for older people has appeared in the Wimbledon area – something fresh, something innovative, something already meeting a need in the north of the borough of Merton. It goes by the name of First Service and is yet another good idea from those people at the Wimbledon Guild, the local charity celebrating its centenary this year.
Three years ago they came up with the Wimbledon Befriending Scheme, which provided a regular visitor for lonely, socially isolated older people. This really struck a chord and referrals came in from relatives, social services and surgeries. Encouraged by this success, they began to wonder if more could be done. At the same time, they were receiving requests for extras like shopping and gardening. These were not part of the remit of the ‘befrienders’, so the idea grew of extending the befriending scheme.
So, in the early summer, First Service came into being, with befriending at its core. As well as providing a regular visitor, befriending now includes help with one-off tasks like, for example, shopping, lifts and help with forms. As more volunteers come forward, this will also include gardening and other services.
First Service also offers free advice to older people as well as being able to recommend some local tradespeople. It can link people with other organisations and service providers and with other services in Guild House, like Citizens Advice, counselling and social work. So, no need to worry about who to ring - one phone may be all it takes to find that particular help, service, guidance and advice.
To find out more about First Service, just ring the number below.
020 8296 1133 - one call could do it all