Shropshire Community Council
PUBLISHED: 10:49 06 January 2011 | UPDATED: 18:00 20 February 2013
The Community Council can play a vital role in maintaining the independence and wellbeing of some of Shropshire's more vulnerable and isolated residents
Prevention is better than cure
While this is an old adage, it has seldom had more relevance than in todays climate of economic austerity. As public spending cuts begin to bite, the help on offer from charities like the Community Council can play a vital role in maintaining the independence and wellbeing of some of Shropshires more vulnerable and isolated residents
Wellbeing in older age is the main focus for the Community Council of Shropshires Preventative Team. The team has developed a wide range of community activities to support vulnerable adults across the county to prevent deterioration in their general health and wellbeing.
Knowledge and Information
The titles Senior Safety, Wise and Well, Healthy You and Step into Spring help to convey a clear message about the purpose of the numerous community events organised each year by the team.
Increasing peoples knowledge about health, wellbeing and safety is central to our events, says Daphne Simmons, Preventative Team Manager. We deliver events right across the county, all of which aim to arm members of our communities with the awareness, professional advice and support that is needed to keep fit and well.
As we grow older, regular exercise can prevent our lives from becoming ruled by the things we can no longer do. Extend exercise offers just the right blend of gentle exercise and enjoyment to give older people the mobility to stay fighting fit. The team helps to recruit, train and support tutors to deliver these community exercise classes based on the model developed by national charity Extend for the past 10 years.
More than 30 classes run each week in community buildings across the county, bringing positive feedback from participants.
During one class a participant was overheard stating that they could now reach their shelves, while another said that she only wished her husband would come so he could enjoy the music, says Daphne.
Recognising that men are sometimes reluctant to seek help in regard to their health, the team is supporting a pilot project in Whitchurch called Man on Track, working in partnership with Reg Lacey, project creator and the Whitchurch Community Chapel Centre.
Reg says: The majority of men do not like to be preached to but sometimes appreciate constructive and confidential guidance to help them get their lives back on track.
The project will provide an informal meeting place where men can take part in keep fit sessions or learn more about computers and healthy food preparation.
Daphne says: We hope to use the experience we gain from Whitchurch to develop future projects in other parts of the county.
The team also helps volunteers to recognise and support vulnerable members of their community by setting up Good Neighbour
Schemes. Currently,11Good Neighbour groups exist in Shropshire, all of which aim to help vulnerable people with tasks such as walking
the dog, doing the shopping, changing library books or simply providing company.
We are currently supporting a new scheme in Ellesmere and are on hand to help develop other new schemes, says Daphne.
Giving groups a helping hand
Community members show great resolve and resourcefulness in
getting a community project off the ground. However a small amount
of funding can often go a long way in giving community groups ahead start.
We are able to offer Care Development Grants to small and new groups whose activities involve developing or extending support for adults with low level care needs, explains Daphne. The small grant scheme is funded by Shropshire Council and our role is not only to provide access to the funds but to provide the support that groups need alongside their grant to help them develop their work.
If the Community Council could help to bring activities and support to vulnerable people in your community, contact Daphne Simmons on 01743 360641 or visit www.shropshire-rcc.org.uk