A charity is ready to launch a 24-hour service to help vulnerable people after making it more affordable to users.
The Evergreen Care Trust will begin its Evergreen Angels scheme on November 17, subject to final approval from its trustees.
The project was initially drawn up to help people in sheltered housing complexes in Stamford cope with the loss of wardens. The South Kesteven District Council wardens lost their jobs in April when Lincolnshire County Council launched its new Wellbeing service. The district had been using county funds to pay for the wardens, and chose not to continue with the scheme when the funds were withdrawn.
After consultation with sheltered housing residents and the wider community, Evergreen has revised its initial pricing structure to make its “Angels” available to everyone.
The Rev Bob Mackrill, who is co-ordinating the scheme, said: “We are trying to make it as accessible as possible.”
He added: “Although we are responding to the needs of the complexes, this is a service that is available to anybody.”
There will be day and night services available, from 8am to 8pm and 8pm to 8am respectively.
Those who sign up to the day service will receive weekly visits plus a monthly safety check and emergency call-outs for a charge of £7.50 per week, and a registration fee of £50. Additional daytime visits can be arranged for £5 each.
Night service users will have access to the emergency call-out for just £3.50 per week, along with the same registration fee. Those who sign up for both services will pay just one registration fee, and for those in receipt of benefits the charges will half.
Short-term packages will also be available to cater for a variety of situations.
The Rev Mackrill said: “We have designed it so we have the capicity to meet the full need of the complexes in town, which is probably in excess of 450 people. We are looking to serve 500 in the first year across Stamford.”
The scheme will be reviewed in summer next year. Should it prove successful, it could be rolled out in Bourne and the Deepings.
Evergreen is also working with Lincolnshire County Council’s Wellbeing service, and can be a first point of contact for those signed up to the county’s telecare system.
The day team has now been recruited and the pairs of Angels are undergoing training ahead of the launch. The team includes three former wardens at housing complexes in Stamford. The night scheme should be in place before Christmas.
Evergreen says it needs a one-off start-up fund of £40,000 to get the Angels scheme off the ground. So far £12,500 has been donated, with a further £10,000 pledged. The aim is to make the Angels self-sustaining after the first year.
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