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Red Cross

Home and Well Project
Service Description
The home and well support service helps people in the Northern Trust area who may be isolated and/or lacking in confidence after a hospital stay, illness, bereavement etc. Using our dedicated, caring and trained team of volunteers and staff the service helps build confidence and independence, re-introducing people to their community by linking them up with local social groups and services.
What does the service offer?
Our team supports people for up to 12 weeks. Using a person centred approach we will help people to create an action plan which will detail current challenges the person is facing along with their personal goals & aspirations. We will then work with the person and support them to overcome those challenges and achieve their goals. In doing so we can help them to manage at home, get out and about and re-connect with their local community.
When is the service available?
The community support service is available Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 4.30pm. available?
The service is available in the following localities: Causeway, Antrim, Ballymena, Larne, Carrick, Newtonabbey and Mid Ulster.
Support provided
  • A listening ear, both at home or on the phone
  • Confidence building
  • Empowering people to help themselves and achieve their own goals & aspirations
  • Encouragement and support to help people get involved in activities or clubs
  • Helping to local access services that enable people to continue living independently
  • Hand and arm massage to promote well being
  • Accompanying people to activities and clubs while they build confidence
  • Helping accessing transport
  • Helping people to manage their shopping independently.
 For service users:
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Enhanced well-being
  • Improved confidence
  • Reduced Isolation
  • Improved Nutrition
  • Increased Resilience
For commissioners:
  • Reduced Unscheduled admissions/re-admissions
  • Reduction in bed days
  • Reduction in non-health related GP appointments
Case Study
Name: Mr R McDowell
Age: 62yrs
Mr McDowell has lived in the Cloughmills area of the Northern Trust all of his life. Until 2015 he lived with his partner in reasonably good health. His partner Joh originated from Southern Ireland and he had limited family support but this did not prove disadvantageous to them.   They lived a very private and contented life.
Unfortunately in 2015 Ron found himself in unexpected poor health.  Compounding this was a following bad health diagnosis for his partner. 
They both now faced a litany of health appointments and neither held a driving licence.  The lack of family support now affected them greatly and they were unsure of where to turn for help.
In early 2016 Red Cross were contacted by Fold Floating support as they had recently heard of the Home and Well project in their catchment area.  They made a referral for Ron and Joh for assistance with transport to their local health appointments.
Red Cross Support
Red Cross volunteers transported them and accompanied them during their treatment which lasted for 7 weeks. 
“Nothing short of angels….”
On completion of their Top 3 Goals plan Joh reported that “Red Cross had helped them through the most difficult time of our adult lives”.   She said that the volunteers were nothing short of ‘angels’.
Ron had described the Red Cross as the ‘family missing from our lives’ and that without the immediate support offered by Home and Well their health outcomes would have been compromised.
When service completed with both Ron and Joh they felt that they were in a “stronger and healthier place” and had gained a new faith in humanity.
“Red Cross helped us through the most difficult time of our …lives”.

Reconnect Project
Service Description
Working within the Western and South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust areas, the Red Cross piloted a Support at Home modelled service that aimed to address issues of social isolation within older people. The project involved working in partnership with a range of integrated care teams and community and voluntary organisations to provide a person centred service.
Support provided
The service was offered to individuals for a period of up to six weeks to give them the opportunity to regain their independence and reconnect back into the local community; core service offer included:
  • Befriending
  • Assistance with shopping
  • Transport to and from local health appointments
  • Person centred First Aid programme 
  • Signposting to external services/programmes to improve social networks 
Service Outcomes
The planned outcomes of the pilot were to:
  • Reduce social isolation
  • Improve physical mental and emotional wellbeing
  • Address determinants of ill-health and tackling health inequalities by removing barriers to accessing health care
  • Build sustainable, resilient communities through collaboration with local community organisations
  • Increase knowledge and skill base to empower the people who use our service 
Eligibility Criteria
Referrals were accepted for individuals who met the following criteria;
  • Older people aged 60+
  • Resides within Derry/Londonderry localities and South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust area
  • People at risk of social isolation
  • People who may have low level mental health issues
  • People who may be at risk of facing barriers when accessing healthcare
  • During / following a period of personal crisis
  • Anxious about going home after a stay in hospital
  • At risk of admission to hospital or respite care if practical support is not provided
Set up
The Reconnect pilot was conducted from the 14th October 2015 – 4th March 2016. The six month project was costed at £4781 per locality.
A team of volunteers from the local community were recruited and quality assured to deliver the service in accordance with referrals processed by the service coordinator.
Within each project area we anticipated directly reaching 40 beneficiaries referred to Red Cross from external services, and 80 indirectly through first aid training.
Service user data
The following statistics are based upon service commencing 14th October 2015 – 4rd March 2016.
We used the Red Cross wellbeing tool to gather information regarding isolation and promotion of positive mental and emotional wellbeing. This reflected a mean increase across all our categories in both geographical areas.
In Western Trust;
1) Overall, how satisfied with your life are you nowadays? Pre: 5.8 – Post: 6.4
2) Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday? Pre: 6.5 – Post: 7.0
3) Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday? Pre: 7.0 – Post: 7.0 4) Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile? Pre: 6.33 – Post: 7.0.
Overall wellbeing went from a pre project average of 6.4 to a post project average of 6.85. This increase isn’t dramatic but still demonstrates the effectiveness of the project. We felt the dependence on the service correlated to a drop in scoring when the project finished and we completed our post project questionnaire. We also collected data with our “top 3 goals” questionnaire which indicates progression over the lifespan of the project.
In South Eastern Trust;
1) Overall, how satisfied with your life are you nowadays? Pre: 4.0 – Post: 6.1
2) Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday? Pre: 3.8 – Post: 5.8
3) Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday? Pre: 6.4 – Post: 3.7 4) Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile? Pre: 5.5 – Post: 6.5.
This reflects the success of the project as wellbeing indicators increased whilst feelings of anxiousness decreased from 6.4 to 3.7. We do feel though with an extended contact with the client we could massively increase these figures, though the timescale and demand for the service didn’t make this possible.
We also collected data with our “top 3 goals” questionnaire which indicates client progression over the lifespan of the project i.e. being able to achieve set targets / goals.
The project has made a massive difference to the lives of the beneficiaries and this is reflected in both the wellbeing data and focus groups. Many stated “they don’t know how they would have coped without the project” and that “they know more about the services in their area and more confident to use them.”