How our Outreach services could help you with benefits and money advice, access to other services, and more Guild Care has a range of Outreach services which support people in the heart of the Worthing and Adur community. Whether you’re an older person child, have a disability, or are a carer, our Outreach services could possibly help you. These services aim to maintain and improve people’s health and wellbeing. This could be by providing support after returning home from a hospital stay, short-term visits from a volunteer, or signposting to other services. Help can also be provided to increase income by reviewing benefits, energy tariffs and completing forms and paperwork. Last year alone, our Outreach service provided 15,500 hours of face-to-face and telephone support for local residents and helped over 1,440 vulnerable older people. Lorna Martin, Community Services Manager, said, “Many people wish to remain in their own homes for as long as possible and we want to help make sure they can. We understand how difficult it can be living at home if you’re an older person or have a disability, so we aim to make sure you have the support you need in accessing services to help maintain your independence at home, as well as out in the local community.” If you or someone you love has a disability, a Guild Care Community Liaison Worker can help you complete appropriate forms and paperwork to access relevant benefits, care, and services, along with finding local social opportunities. Max Murray, who lives with various disabilities and chronic disease, contacted the Community Disability Service Team to help her with accessing benefits, filling out forms and getting help with equipment – some of which she didn’t even know existed. With their help, Max now has a scooter that helps her get out of the house and allows her to remain independent. She said, “It’s really hard when you’re someone who has lived independently and alone, like I do. It’s very hard to ask for help, to accept help, and to recognise that you need help. The benefit system is just a nightmare. It’s not designed for people. It makes you really anxious. There’s so much of it to go through. So, it was really nice to have someone who obviously knows the job very well and understands everything to break it down into more manageable sections, so it’s not so overwhelming. [Outreach] has been empowering for me. Enabling me to feel like I’m a human being and I have a place in the world.” Max and Jo, a Guild Care Senior Community Liaison Officer Our Outreach service also provides practical advice and support for older people with free help completing forms and paperwork and accessing appropriate benefits, such as: Attendance Allowance, Blue Badge Applications and Personal Independence Payments. They can also help you reduce your energy bills, including tariff reviews and improving insulation in your own home. One service user said, “The money adviser checked my benefits for me as my health and mobility had become worse over the last year. Once I was awarded the allowance, the Outreach team gave me a choice of agencies that could help me. I now see a lovely lady twice a week.” If you are worried about coping upon your return from the hospital, you can access our Home from Hospital service. One of our volunteers will visit and make sure you are safe, have what you need, and that the relevant services are in place should you need them. This assistance will ensure you are not isolated following your discharge from hospital and will help you regain your confidence and independence. Our team can also help older people access clubs, activities and fitness classes, with the aim to improve health and wellbeing. Furthermore, they can provide support, advice and information by helping you to find other relevant services. For more information on Guild Care’s Outreach service, contact our Customer Services Team on 01903 327327, email [email protected], or visit www.guildcare.org/outreach.