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Help & Care celebrates 30 years of helping people

Help & Care is celebrating its 30th anniversary this November.

Over the years, Help & Care has offered support and advice to hundreds of thousands of older people in Dorset, enabling them to live the lives they choose.

This year alone, Help & Care have given one-to-one support to more than 11,000 people, reached more than 24,000 people through community work, and received more than 20,000 calls to its telephone support line.

Founded in 1985, the charity started with 1 part-time member of staff and covered Bournemouth. 30 years on and the charity has now grown to 140 employees, covering Dorset, Slough, Wokingham, IOW, Hampshire, Surrey and West Sussex.

Help & Care is renowned for its telephone advice service but it also holds the contract for Carer Support Training across Dorset, runs a gardening service run by people recovering from mental health problems and it is one of the largest providers of local Healthwatch activity in England.

Mark Sharman, the Chief Executive of Help & Care, says the reason Help & Care has thrived is down to the demand but also to its willingness to adapt.

“The world in which we operate is very different to 1985.  So we have had to be flexible and innovative. 

“Through all this our success is built on our focus on the people with whom we work and a commitment to our values of Social Justice and working with people personally,” he added.

To celebrate Help & Care’s achievements there will be events held throughout November.

Monday November 9th (17:00 – 20:00) Award-winning journalist David Brindle, Public Services Editor for The Guardian, will be giving a speech at Help & Care’s stakeholder event on November 9th at AFC. A reporter at The Guardian since 1988, he has a fantastic insight into the way care and support for the older population has changed over the years. More than 50 stakeholders will attend this event. Help & Care will also launch its new website.

Wednesday 18th November: Staff conference to celebrate the dedication of our staff over the past 30 years.

Tuesday November 24th (11:00 – 14.30) Volunteers of Help & Care will be honoured at this lunchtime gala at The Meyrick Hall. The Mayor of Bournemouth, Councillor John Adams JP, will present ‘Special Recognition Awards’ to three of our former volunteers who combined have served 30 years:

Ralph, 98, one of our oldest volunteers, stopped volunteering three years ago due to health reasons. He will be receiving a ‘Special Recognition Award’ for his 10 years of service.

Denys, who is in the Guinness Book of Records for being involved with arranging the largest convoy of aid to Bosnia will also be receiving the award for his 10 years of srvice, along with another volunteer called Marjorie.

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