As 2021 ended, it saw the first anniversary of a project specifically created to support disabled and elderly local people.

Community Cares was created in November 2020 to ensure those people who receive no support from the local authority or family, are not forgotten.

In the first year, the project received over 100 referrals from various sources, in the main from Social Prescribers who work with GP Surgeries in Derby.

The projects support includes regular wellbeing checks via phone, visits as necessary to have a chat and reassure service users that they are not alone and there is someone they can turn to and also shopping, collection of medication and transport to appointments.

Liz Dawson, Project Coordinator says

“Our ultimate aim is to encourage and motivate them to get out and meet new friends and be more self-sufficient. To achieve this we have teamed up with other agencies such as Walking Buddies in Chaddesden, who will call round and go out for walks to the shop, park or just around their area, supporting them to be more independent and for exercise”.

“In addition, we have a directory of community centres and other venues that have coffee mornings and other activities and when they feel they are ready we take them to their first meeting to support them and give encouragement to continue with these activities”.

From the 100 people supported the project has been able to help more than 30 of them to become more socially active and make new friends lessening their feeling of isolation and being alone.

In September they held an event at the Toby Carvey to raise funds to buy Christmas gifts for those people who have no family. Then on the 23rd of December the staff and volunteers delivered Christmas dinners donated by Toby Carvery and gifts to 18 service users.

Sally Austin, Director of Operations says

“Although this project was primarily created to support people through the pandemic, we have realised the need for this type of support is not going to go away”.

“Due to this we have decided to make this a core project and will continue to provide the service as long as funding allows”

If you are in need of support or if you know someone who is isolated, please contact – 01332 299449

Social Prescribers say: Community Cares is an extremely valuable resource for us, we know that the patients we refer to the project will get a personal and friendly service that will help them to feel valued and supported and able them to maintain their independence for as long as possible. People we have supported say they look forward to their calls or visits and it feels more personal than “just another service.” For us it means that some of the most isolated and vulnerable people in the community have opportunities to participate in their community, build a social network and feel connected. As referrers we know we can contact Liz and her team to discuss how people are doing and work together to ensure we are able to weave a net of support for the individuals we work with – we genuinely do not know what we would do without Community Cares and Liz and her team.”

Our Service Users say:

“I am very happy with the support it has made an enormous difference to my life, and I feel I have made a friend in Liz and know I can call if I need any help, it has helped me feel less lonely and isolated.” Liz – Shelton Lock

“I enjoy my weekly chats with Steph it makes me feel less alone and I know someone out there cares about me and is there if things change or get worse, it is peace of mind, thank you.” Dawn – Derby

“Liz is the best carer I have known, she calls weekly and supports me to make a shopping list, she has also spoken to the Doctors on my behalf when I have struggled, and best of all she called to see me when I was in hospital and brought grapes and a card which I treasure.

Since my operation if the weather is all right, we also go for a little walk around the estate as I find it difficult to go on my own, I look forward every week to the visits.” George – Mackworth

“Having phone calls and visits from Hayley has really helped me as my family live too far away to visit and I have felt very lonely and isolated, Hayley is a lovely lady and I enjoy our chats and look forward to every Tuesday.” Sue – Allestree