The Penarth Live at Home Scheme’s face to face activities have been forced into hiatus due to the outbreak of coronavirus. The project, which tackles loneliness and isolation for the town's older residents, is vital to the local community, especially during these unprecedented times.
The scheme has been supported by the Co-op’s local causes campaign for the past year.
Nub News spoke to Linda Brownhill, the scheme manager, about the project and the support they have received during these difficult and uncertain times.
The scheme is designed to help elderly resident to lead happy and healthy lives as well as remaining active members of the local community.
It aids over 55s in living independently at home for as long as possible, with the emphasis on quality of life.
Three part-time staff and team of 42 committed volunteers currently support 79 Penarth residents, providing a wide range of services from befriending, lunch clubs and assisted shopping to activity and friendship sessions and outings.
The local scheme is run by the UK's largest charity care provider MHA, which also operates Morel Court, Ty Gwyn, and Penarth House care homes in the town.
Linda Brownhill explains how the charity became one of the Co-op's Local Community Fund local causes.
"I have been working for Penarth’s Live at Home Scheme for 21 years and it is a great cause.
"I heard about the Co-op Local Community Fund from one of our administrators, whose son works for a branch in Pembrokeshire.
"I went to the store in Penarth to find out more and they showed me how to apply.
"The store has been absolutely phenomenal; the staff and management are wonderful and very supportive.
"To date we have received £370.25 - thanks to the generosity of Co-op customers - which has enabled us to take members out on several day trips which is one of our main activities."
The coronavirus pandemic means that currently most of Penarth Live at Home's outings are on hold.
"With many of our members being older and vulnerable, we are looking at November at the earliest for getting back to our normal services.
"We are still doing hot meal deliveries, telephone befriending and our newsletters.
"Our volunteers are ringing and checking in. They’ve been fantastic," added Linda.
Penarth Live at Home hopes to put any future contributions from the Co-op's Local Community Fund towards buying iPads for their members.
Linda said: "We want to be able to teach our members to use them and then they can get in touch with family, as many have family living away.
"Just to be able to do that on Zoom or Skype will mean the world to them."
For more information on Penarth Live at Home click here.