Last week we launched our second Winter Wellbeing project that will help over 65’s to stay warm, active and connected over the winter months ahead. The project will see us delivering warm items, things like blankets, hats, coats, scarves and even hot water bottles, providing a little extra warmth for older people as we move into these colder months.
Rachael Treacher, our Outreach Coordinator, leads on this project. In this blog, she tells us more about some of the outreach work she’s been doing, and the older Scouse neighbours she’s met along the way.
I’m delighted to be leading the second Winter Wellbeing project for Liverpool Cares. Over the next six months I’ll be undertaking some intensive outreach work that will connect older neighbours living across Liverpool with our organisation; passing on ways to help individuals stay warm, active and connected. Not only will I be delivering blankets and other warm items to those most in need, but I’ll also be putting older neighbours in touch with other local organisations that can offer help and guidance. This practical advice can include information about ways of reducing fuel bills, such as the Warm Home Discount, and Winter Fuel Payment.
I was thrilled to kick off the project this year by being welcomed at a Flu Clinic at Penny Lane Surgery, where patients had been invited along to receive their annual flu vaccine. I spent my morning striking up brilliant conversations with many older neighbours about our Winter Wellbeing project, but also about our core programmes. It was great to be able to tell so many people about our free Social Clubs, of which there are up to 15 every month, and also our Love Your Neighbour friendship matching programme.
During the course of the morning I was lucky enough to meet Barbara (85), who was honest with me about how incredibly lonely she has been feeling. Barbara told me, “once my front door closes it stays shut and I don’t see anybody.”
When I explained to Barbara about our free social activities her face immediately lit up with joy! She happily told me, “I’ve been looking for things to do for years – these sound great!” I’m really looking forward to seeing Barbara at a Social Club soon, and I’ll also be dropping her a quick call in the next few days to see if she wants to come along to anything later this month or in the future.
Later in the week, I visited June (76) at her home in Wavertree to drop off some warm items. June had asked for a blanket and some gloves, and while I was there we chatted about the Social Club listings for October. Over a nice warm brew, we shared stories about how June grew up in the area, and about her first job as a seamstress. Most of all I enjoyed hearing about how June used to go in the local pub to get a bottle of ‘Brown Mix Ale’ from the bartender – at 7 years old!
Before I left, June said to me, “back in those days you’d help one another, people had next to nothing, but we survived”. June, like many other older local scouse neighbours, is an asset to this city and I’m proud to meet so many of them through our growing community network!
I ended my week by visiting a hugely popular community group called ‘Sway with Ray’ that meet each week at the Joseph Lappin Centre, in Old Swan. I was greeted with an incredibly warm welcome by what can only be described as a ‘tribe’ of about 25 people aged between 40 and 80 years old! This was a brilliant sight to see, and the perfect way to end my week!
After the class everyone sat down for a cuppa, with butties and cakes for all, and gave me a great opportunity to talk about Liverpool Cares, and to engage members of the group with our programmes.
The infamous Ray McNulty, who leads the group, commented to everybody present, “I urge you to sign up to things like this– I guarantee it will open doors for you!”
Ray’s comment really struck a chord with me, because it’s precisely how our amazing city works; by people supporting and looking out for one another – and that’s exactly what we all need to be doing, especially over the colder winter months.
I’m overwhelmed by the response I’ve had in just a week for our Winter Wellbeing project and I’m excited to be getting out and about, into more communities like the ones I’ve visited this past week, to connect with even more older neighbours and tell them all about our programmes.
To hear more about our Winter Wellbeing project, get in touch with us on 0151 659 1789 or go to: https://liverpoolcares.org.uk
Posted by Rachael Treacher on Thursday 10th October 2019
Rachael Treacher is the Volunteer and Outreach Officer at Liverpool Cares: she manages our community network of younger and older neighbours.