On 10th September 2017 I will be joining 1600 other swimmers to swim 10k down the River Dart – from Totnes to Dittisham. The Dart 10k was the first, and is arguably the finest, 10k swim on the open water calendar and 2017 is its eighth year.
Please help to speed my journey down the river by making a donation to my nominated charity, Age UK Exeter, of which I am a Trustee. Your support will help the Charity to make a real difference to the lives of older people in Exeter, many of whom are lonely and isolated.
Age UK Exeter - an independent charity (Charity No. 1010973) - provides vital support and makes a real difference to the lives of over 1,000 older people in Exeter. They achieve this through their 110 dedicated staff and a fantastic team of 260 volunteers who give their time, enthusiasm and skills so generously for the benefit of others.
Age UK Exeter helps to combat the loneliness and isolation that face so many older people in Exeter. Over 7,000 older people in the City live alone and a survey conducted by Age UK Exeter showed that nearly a third of local people aged over 80 said they felt lonely some or all of the time.
The older population in Exeter is growing and more and more people with substantial health needs and poor mobility are staying in their own homes – where they want to be. While their physical needs can be met, it is very often their social needs that go unheeded.
This is where Age UK Exeter comes in – offering a greater range of support than any other organisation in Exeter.
Here’s how Age UK Exeter makes a difference:
In 2016/17 they provided the following:
· Information and Advice – responded to over 3,300 enquiries for help
· Benefits take-up – helped local older people gain an additional £1.1m in benefits
· Day services for older people with complex needs – 215 attendances each week
· Café offering good value, freshly cooked meals – 275 meals served each week
· Activity groups - Tai Chi, exercise, choir, computer training – 200 visits per week
· Wellbeing and social inclusion – 200 older people supported
· Support for carers of people with dementia – over 90 carers regularly supported
· Home from Hospital – supporting 30 older people a week at the RD&E
· Enabling & Home Help service – supports over 200 people each week
· Time for Life project helping people improve their quality of life – 130 people supported
· Volunteer visiting for older people who live alone – 50 visits per week
· Telephone chat-line for people living alone – 100 calls per week
· Men in Sheds refurbish donated tools and garden implements – 60 men involved
· Drop-in social groups – over 50 attendances per week
The Charity is also about to start a new project with the University of Exeter, Open University and University of Milton Keynes looking at how older people’s circles of support can be enhanced and strengthened through the use of technology.
An 87 year old man who lives alone and is prone to depression attends one of their day services and said to a member of staff recently:
“Coming here has changed my life. I live in a house, but this is my