Age Concern Scotland has a team of 4 part-time community workers and a part-time administrative officer covering the whole of Dumfries and Galloway. Dumfries and Galloway is split into 4 district areas: Annandale and Eskdale, Nithsdale, Stewartry and Wigtownshire. A community worker is attached to each district with the administrative officer based in Dumfries.
Some of the main areas of work and projects in Dumfries and Galloway so far have included the following:
Working closely with Local Health Partnerships and Local Rural Partnerships on a range of health, safety and well-being initiatives that include:
- “Food Glorious Food” project – This project involves engaging with various groups to look at the issues around “healthy eating”, how to overcome barriers, information “overload” and setting up taster sessions and cookery demonstrations, especially for first-time caterers.
- Home Safety for Older People Working Group. Work has included input into the development of a half-hour home-safety play through a local drama group. There will be a video/DVD of the drama produced in 2006.
- Falls prevention exercise classes – these are being developed and promoted through Sport and Leisure staff from Dumfries and Galloway Council, with additional funding secured via community planning for more staff to receive “Extend” training.
- Paths to Health projects – joint working and promotion.
Delivering talks to local groups on the work of Age Concern Scotland and providing a range of leaflets relevant to older people:
- Talks to local groups and agencies. Community workers give many talks on the work of Age Concern Scotland to a wide range of older people’s groups, student nurses, district nurses and local social work teams.
- Local enquiries – The administrative officer deals with many enquiries from the Dumfries office.
Working with other local organisations to increase the take-up of state benefits:
- Your Rights Week – In April each year community workers arrange events to highlight the ‘Your Rights Week’ Campaign.
- £11m Group – This is a unique project in Dumfries and Galloway to increase take-up of pension credit and other benefits. Age Concern Scotland is one of a number of local agencies taking a lead role in the development of the project although local staff are not directly involved with carrying out benefits checks.
Promoting Age Concern Scotland’s annual Winter Warmth campaign including the Logs Project:
§ Logs Project – This is another unique project for Dumfries and Galloway. The Age Concern Scotland Logs Project is a partnership between Age Concern Scotland, the Criminal Justice Social Work Department of Dumfries and Galloway Council and local businesses. Through the winter months, logs and kindlers are delivered free of charge to older people with log fires using donated wood which is cut, bagged and delivered by supervised teams of people subject to community service orders.
Promoting the need for older people to be consulted:
- Consultation meetings and Postwatch – consulting with local older people on plans to change services in local post offices.
- Review of services – patients giving feedback on services provided within a Rehabilitation Unit that has resulted in a number of key changes within the Unit.
- “Scottish Voice and Choice” training programme offered to groups of older people.
Supporting local groups in the development of services and activities and promoting best practice:
- T’ai Chi and Qigong taster sessions have been arranged with a number of older people’s groups. These forms of exercise have proved to be very popular and if carried out regularly, are an excellent way to prevent falls in older people.
- IT and the “Peoples’ War”- encouraging involvement and helping older people record some of their wartime experiences.
- “Our past, our future” event – Age Concern Scotland was one of a number of agencies involved in the planning of this WW2 Commemorative event.
- New lunch club/day centre – Working with a local group in Annan to develop a new lunch club/day centre facility.
- Frozen meals delivery service – Age Concern Scotland was asked to carry out an independent evaluation of the views of service-users on a pilot frozen meals delivery service during the school holidays.