Community Warden Scheme
Girton’s Community Warden Scheme is highly valued by the older residents in our Village and never more so than during the recent lockdowns when families have been unable to visit their elderly relatives. Sarah Thomson, Service Manager at Age UK which operates the Scheme on behalf of Girton Town Charity, tells of one such example.
Sarah says: “We received a referral from a worried son, who lives in Canada, asking if we could support his parents. Both are in their mid-80’s, one with significant cognitive issues presenting as a form of dementia and the other with deteriorating health needs. “With no family members in the UK and following a serious fall which resulted in a hospital stay, the son contacted Age UK and after discussion, his parents were able to join the Scheme and receive the support they needed with daily contact, shopping and well-being checks. “The son is extremely grateful to receive regular updates provided by the Community Warden and can see a positive change in his parents who are much more relaxed. He sent a thank you card as a mark of his appreciation.”
Lockdowns over the last year have meant our Community Warden, Fiona, has adapted the way she looks after residents, with no indoor home visits unless essential and support provided via doorstep deliveries. Not surprisingly the lockdowns have seen many users of the Scheme feel extremely isolated and anxious, especially second and third time around. Sarah continues: “Some were just beginning to regain confidence in accessing the community and now have to remain at home again – and of course the time of year results in very long days for everyone.
“Fiona remains a consistent contact, ensuring everyone knows they aren’t alone, offering reassurance and sharing ways to keep entertained. At present we are supporting 15 service users in Girton, a significant number of whom have a diagnosis of
dementia and are finding everyday a struggle. “At Christmas we decided to bring some cheer to those on the Scheme and so used so our legacy fund to buy them a gift.
“Everyone was given the opportunity to ask for something they would like. It was a pleasure to see the joy on their faces when these were delivered….some even just asked for a surprise. Also in the Christmas week, in partnership with South Cambridgeshire District Council, the Warden and Older Residents’ Coordinator helped to deliver a free Christmas meal
to all our older people.”
To contact Fiona telephone 07967 827843 or call the GTC office on 01223 276008.