Senior Solutions

History

Westhoughton Visiting Service was established in 1997, when following consultation with the local community, it was recognised that many older people were spending a large amount of time on their own, and some older people rarely had contact with anyone. The aim of the Visiting Service was to provide a volunteer visitor in the personís own home on a weekly basis. Since that time, the service has recognised that there are other ways of addressing the problems caused by social isolation, and has extended the range of services offered, to meet the varied needs of older people.

Another aspect of our work came about by the realisation that a person does not have to live on their own to be lonely. It may be that an older person is a carer and finds themselves isolated by the necessity to carry out their caring responsibilities. We therefore established a Sitting-In Service to offer respite to carers, by matching a trained volunteer who can meet the needs of the carer.

In the early days, the service held a regular coffee morning, which quickly developed into a drop-in facility for older people. Today we provide a hot cooked lunch, for over 100 people each week, who attend two lunch clubs and a pilot scheme. As well as providing a nutritious meal, the lunch enables the staff to monitor the health and well-being of each person attending.

Most recently, the service joined with other community organisations to form Westhoughton Community Network, which now comprises 32 local groups. Many of our volunteers are active in these groups, which enables them to introduce older people to the group, and accompany them to meetings. This helps the older person gain in confidence as they enjoy pursuing a new interest or activity, and make new friends.

Due to increasing referrals of people living in neighbouring areas, outside Westhoughton, and also the more diverse nature of our work, on 1st September 2013, the charity changed its name to Senior Solutions.

Volunteers

Senior Solutions has over 80 volunteers, many of whom are actively engaged week by week, supporting the needs of older people. They come from all walks of life. Our youngest volunteer being 18, and our oldest is 94 years of age!

All our volunteers bring a wealth of life skills and experience. It is often the case that a volunteer may themselves be at risk of social isolation, and the opportunities presented by volunteering, enable them to be instrumental in addressing the needs of the community as well as their own. All volunteers are DBS checked, have two references and receive training in Safeguarding.

If you would be interested in volunteering, please contact the Scheme Manager, who will be happy to provide you with further information and answer any questions you may have.

Staff

Scheme Manager: Mrs. Michelle Todd
Assistant Coordinator: Mrs. Julie Loughran

Our staff, have over 40 years experience, between them, in working in adult social care. They provide management and support to all our volunteers; receive referrals from other agencies; carry out detailed assessments of clients and ongoing monitoring of service to ensure a high quality of service delivery.

Trustees

Chair: Revd Canon Dr. Chris Bracegirdle
Vice-Chair: Mr. Ronald Bell
Secretary: Mrs. Susan Phillips
Treasurer: Mr. Mark Preston
Mr. George Twist
Mr. Ryan Calderbank
Mrs. Anne Burns
Councillor David Chadwick
Mrs. Frances Settle

We are always seeking to extend the skill base of the Board of Trustees. If you would be interested in learning more about becoming a trustee, and feel you have the necessary experience to offer, please contact the Chairman.