Agewell – Supporting Older and Vulnerable People in Mid Ulster

The Agewell Project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund and aimed at improving the health and wellbeing and reducing fear of crime amongst older and vulnerable people in the Mid Ulster areas, is working with the PSNI to offer members of the project a visit from a Neighbourhood Officer as requested.

One of Agewell’s services is a free telephone care service for the over 50 and vulnerable living in the Cookstown, Dungannon and Magherafelt areas five mornings a week, Monday to Friday to contact members for a social chat and to check on their wellbeing. The role of the call can be anything from simply regular social contact right through to reducing fear by acting as reassurance, a listening ear and providing information and referral for crime prevention and home safety services, with the offer of a Neighbourhood Officer visit becoming an extra part of this service.

The Neighbourhood Officer service as part of the Agewell project is already up and running in the Dungannon and South Tyrone areas and as well as offering the visits police are also referring older and vulnerable people they encounter in their community to the Agewell project to avail of its range of services, as are police in Cookstown and Magherafelt areas.

Dungannon and South Tyrone Sector Commander Inspector Keith Jamieson commented: “Police in Dungannon look forward to working in close cooperation with Agewell, who we feel, provide an extremely valuable service to elderly and vulnerable persons in the Mid Ulster area. My officers, during the course of their duties, often encounter persons who through old age or infirmity feel vulnerable or alone in the community.

“It is a great comfort to know that we have an organisation such as Agewell that we can, with that person’s permission, refer them, knowing that they will receive ongoing daily support in the form of a good morning call and benefit from Agewell’s other support services. I would encourage any member of the community who knows of a neighbour, relative or friend who could benefit from this valuable service to contact Agewell.”

Councillor Frances Burton said, “As Chair of the Dungannon & South Tyrone Community Safety Partnership, I welcome the opportunity to work with Agewell in partnership with other agencies, supporting older and vulnerable people, endeavouring to reduce crime, anti-social behaviour and the fear of crime.

“Agewell offers a valuable, confidential free call telephone service, giving elderly and vulnerable people reassurance and advice on crime and home safety. I would encourage all residents aged 50 years and over to make themselves aware of what Agewell offers and to avail of the service and to inform others – particularly those  living in rural areas and lone residents of what the Agewell service can offer them.”

 The Agewell Project is a partnership with over 30 organisations from across Mid Ulster and works to improve physical and mental health, reduce poverty, isolation and fear among older people and to encourage more involvement in community activities. The Agewell Partnership also aims to increase community ownership of older persons issues, both locally and regionally. It will also develop enhanced collaboration and joined up working between agencies and groups working together for older people through the three districts.

Services for older people provided by the project include the Good Morning Call, a handy man service, supporting older persons groups through the provision of training and advice services, holding local events where people can meet friends and take part in courses and activities and opportunities for people to take part in projects working with younger people, helping to improve local relationships between older and young people.

For more information on the Agewell project and the services, all free, provided by the project contact the office on 028 796 32170.