New caring scheme will help less able residents

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A NEW scheme in Rye will provide help and support for elderly and vulnerable people.

The Community Friends scheme is to be piloted on the Tilling Green estate and residents there are being urged to register their interest by May 31.

It works by linking residents with volunteers who are willing to help.

Community Friends development officer Val Smith said: “If you are ever in need help for those small jobs like changing a light bulb, clearing your path of snow, shopping, tidying the garden or a lift to the dentist then this scheme can help.

“We can all face difficulties like this at some time in our lives and we don’t always like to ask for help. “The good news is that Rother Voluntary Action has obtained funding to develop Community Friends Schemes to help those living in isolated communities access much-needed services. Being able to call on help when needed can make all the difference, especially when you live alone.

“The Community Friends Project will link those in need of a helping hand with local volunteers willing to donate time and services.

“Although it tends to be the elderly who make most use of the help available, it can benefit all in the community including those recovering from illness or accidents, people who are bereaved or people experiencing particular problems.

“Volunteers are encouraged to offer their services only for the time they can spare and for activities that they would be happy to carry out.

“Help can be many and varied and include giving occasional lifts, collecting pensions and prescriptions, small household repairs, one-off garden work, walking the dog, befriending and letter writing. Volunteers would be fully supported and only expected to offer what time they can spare for services they would feel confident to carry out- it could be as little as one hour a fortnight.

“We have a good steering group overseeing the project which we hope to roll out to other areas of Rye in the near future.”

All houses on the Tilling Green estate have received a survey form but you can pop into the Tilling Green Community Centre for a spare questionnaire if needed and a collection box is in the reception area for the completed forms. The deadline is May 31.

If you would like to get involved with volunteering, contact Val Smith on 01424 217259 or email: val.smith_RVA@btconnect.com.