Warm-hearted housing staff go above and beyond to help elderly residents in bad weather

Cheviot House resident Bill Gardner is pictured with Housing Plus manager Lynne Donke and Coun Tracey Dixon (right).
Cheviot House resident Bill Gardner is pictured with Housing Plus manager Lynne Donke and Coun Tracey Dixon (right).

Big-hearted staff have been going above and beyond to help older residents in South Tyneside to stay well in the bad weather.

Staff from both South Tyneside Homes and the Council have contacted around 4,000 elderly residents to make sure they are safe and well.

Some staff have even been doing shopping for residents who have been unable to venture outside in the freezing temperatures.

Emergency shopping has been done at all Housing Plus schemes across the Borough.

The Housing Plus Officer from Cheviot House, Lynne Donke, has been doing shopping for a number of residents, stocking up on basics such as milk and bread.

She also made a big pan of soup which was served in the communal lounge for tenants to enjoy.

Irene Reehal, 63, who has lived at Cheviot House for the past five years, said: “Lynne is fantastic, she really has gone above and beyond.

“I have never met such a kind and caring person, I think she deserves an award. I really can’t thank her enough for her help over the last few days, she has been amazing.”

Tenant William Gardner, 82, added: “The soup she made was delicious, she really has gone the extra mile.”

Coun Allan West, Lead Member for Housing and Transport, said: “The terrible weather conditions have made it virtually impossible for many older people to go and do the routine jobs they would usually do.

“While this is not a service we can do on a regular basis, I am delighted that our staff have been able to go the extra mile under these adverse conditions to make sure our older residents stay safe and warm.”

Adult social care staff have also been helping older residents stay safe in the wintery conditions by doing emergency shopping for them.

Mary Feeney, 70, of Jarrow was delighted to receive a call “out of the blue” from a council worker asking if she needed any help.

Mary, who has severe arthritis, said: “I had tried to get to the shops as I needed bread and milk but couldn’t manage with my walker.

“To have someone ring you up and ask if you are OK is such a kind thing to do and it really was much appreciated. The girl who brought my shopping even stayed and had a cup of tea with me which was lovely. It really cheered me up in this bad weather.”

Coun Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Independence and Wellbeing, said: “It is fantastic to see staff from both the Council and South Tyneside Homes working together to make sure our older residents are given support in this way.

“While temperatures are freezing outside, it’s good to know that our warm-hearted staff are going above and beyond in their duties to keep people safe.”

To find out more about the Housing Plus schemes on offer, visit www.southtynesidehomes.org.uk/housingplus or ring 0300 1236633.