A wayfinder is someone in your local community who will provide signposting and support to older people. This role is part of the Dorset Partnership for Older People Programme (POPP).
Tony* is in his 80s and was an engineer in the merchant navy, he was referred to the Wayfinders program by a friend in 2013. 25 years ago, Tony's house had burnt down and, because he didn't have insurance, he moved into a caravan in his garden. He's lived there ever since.
Tony has a problem throwing anything away and collects things that need mending from car boot sales. He's filled three caravans with his collections and a fourth, which he lives in, is filling up. He doesn't have a toilet or running water and uses the outside tap as a water source.
On the wayfinders first visit it took 90 minutes of standing on the doorstep for Tony to trust her enough to let her in.
The Wayfinder contacted different charities but Tony was uncomfortable getting help from a charity. He has accepted a used Summer House that will be erected on his land. The Wayfinder spoke to Shelter and the local council about planning permission and they are happy for him to use the summerhouse as a day room,
Tony says he is happy living where he feels he belongs.
POPP is available to people across Dorset excluding Bournemouth and Poole.
*We have changed his name to protect his identity