Age Concern Tyneside South (ACTS) this week told councillors of how they have been supporting an increasing number of residents in the past year, and have also had more volunteers coming forward to help them.
The charity champions issues impacting older people and provides services and activities which aim to improve wellbeing and enable healthier and happier ageing.
Chief officer Grahame Cassidy, provided West Shields, Cleadon and East Boldon Community Area Forum an update on the numbers of people who have benefited from their support over the past year.
He said: “Predominantly we work with over 50s, last year up until August 31st this year, which was our last financial year, we worked with over 14,500 individuals.
“That was an increase of about 4,000 people from normal but that was partly in relation to the Covid crisis and overriding issues to do with Covid.
“We come across a lot of older people who are lonely, isolated, depressed, anxious, struggling with bereavement.”
He added in total they have more than 220 volunteers, many of whom came forward to support the pandemic efforts.
He added: “We wouldn’t have coped through Covid without our volunteers, we had something like 80 volunteers come out of the woodwork.
“That was in relation to delivering shopping, support with medication, they did all kinds of work in the community, which was a really good team.
“We kept some of those, which is why our volunteer numbers are still reasonably high.”
The charity provides home support, such as cleaning, a handyman service for DIY, community activities, information and advice sessions on issues such as finances, and digital inclusion provision for over 50s.
They also have an app, meaning if someone is struggling a request can be put out to volunteers in the area to go and support the person, and check any issues.
Councillors at the meeting on Thursday (October 28) praised the work done by the charity, based in Beach Road, and the support they offer to elderly residents.
Cllr Stan Wildhirt said: “Can I commend you on an excellent job you’re doing locally, I think it’s absolutely very commendable.”
People can contact Age Concern Tyneside South on 0191 456 6903 or [email protected]