Why we need your help
Each year in the South West of England, about 2,5001 people over the age of 65 die during the winter months from preventable causes - and these deaths are down to the adverse effects of cold weather.
Dorset has the oldest population in the UK, with an all-time high of 104,2002 (19.2 % of the population) of over-65s living there. There are:- 5,5133 people over the age of 65 living with no central heating in Dorset.
At Help and Care, we believe that this can change and must be changed.
We want to tackle health, heating and loneliness issues for older people each winter and our practical advice and support services will help more than 6,000 older people live safer, healthier and more fulfilling lives.
Success for Help and Care means success for everyone associated with us - our wonderful supporters, volunteers and staff. Thank you so much for your kind support.
During the year I visited our projects in Dorset and also older people in their own homes.
I saw older people living in cold, bleak, soulless flats, battling against overwhelming odds to heat their homes and buy food, as they had no-one else to support them.
I also saw first hand the very important work that our teams are doing, to transform these older people's lives. We are providing visiting and befriending during the winter months, helplines relating to keeping well and warm, winter shopping services and emergency measures such as clothes, blankets and portable heaters to people who are awaiting calls from plumbers or warm front grants. We are also working with the government, local authorities and community organisations to bring about permanent changes which will have a lasting impact on the lives of vulnerable older people in the counties in which we work.
Help and Care is passionately committed to giving older people the help that they need. By supporting us, you can play a vital part in enabling us to make our aim a reality.
We want to improve later life for everyone - and we should never underestimate the impact that we can make together.
Mark Sharman, Chief Executive of Help and Care
How we Help and Care
Since 1985, Help and Care has helped many thousands of older people by providing information and advice, befriending, home repairs and maintenance services. We want to reach out to many more - but our challenge is financial. We receive no government funding for our vital information and advice programme (Gateway), leaving the shortfall to be raised by our fundraising activities.
Every year, more than 30,000 older people die from preventable causes over the winter months and we believe that this is an avoidable tragedy that we can help to prevent. Additional deaths from cold weather contribute to one in 20 of all deaths each year. More than two million people over 65 suffer from depression. But because of their age, many of them don't receive the help they need. Doctors struggle to spot the signs of depression, and those who do are constrained by the narrow range of treatments available on the NHS. Up to 3.4 million people over 65 suffer a fall each year. With the right action, up to half of these falls could be prevented. There are 2.8 million people aged 50 and over providing unpaid care in the UK, including 5% of people 85 and over. A quarter of all carers aged 75 and over provide 50 or more hours of informal care each week. Unpaid carers save the UK economy an estimated £87 billion a year.
Our future Our work is long term. Our programmes are life changing and life saving for older people in and around Dorset. The vital ingredient is the quality of the human relationships that we develop with older people. Our strength is the combined energy that binds together partners, funders, supporters, staff and all of those whose lives we touch.
Our strategic aim is to expand our services. In 2009/2010 we will have assisted about 6,000 older people and we want to double that by 2020.
Our vision for growth requires sustainable funding plus awareness - raising campaigns and high profile partnerships with companies and organisations.
It's a fact
The winter of 2008/2009 saw a big jump to 36,700 cold weather deaths in England and Wales or more than 300 per day - a 49 % increase for people over 65 on the previous winter.
Our Lifeline appeal aims to raise at least £100,000 a year. Our target is to boost this to £250,000 a year by 2020. This new funding will consolidate and enhance our basic infrastructure. It will also allow us to innovate and develop programmes to meet special needs.
With new funding we will:
expand our information and advice services
expand our Roots gardening programme
pay for vital gardening equipment for Roots volunteers
develop innovative new resources for older people
use the internet imaginatively to reach more older people
extend our outreach for those who are isolated
increase number of volunteers who work with us so that we can help more people.
Our mission - To help people get the best from life - particularly those people who need more support than others such as people in later life, people who care for someone, or people less able to assert themselves in the world.
It is only through voluntary contributions that Help and Care can maintain itself as an advocate for older people.
Contact the fundraising team
Call 0300 111 3303 or Email email@example.com