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Luton Borough Council befriending older people

The Luton Partnership for Older Persons Project (POPP) helps people at both ends of the spectrum of need. These include:

  • older people with mental health problems who have high levels of need
  • older people with the early symptoms of ill health.

Preventing mental ill health

It is those with early symptoms that are being encouraged to use POPP’s new befriending service. It is hoped that timely and friendly support can prevent symptoms from escalating.

Age Concern Luton supports the project as an extension of its existing befriending scheme. A key aim is to help people to stay independent and live at home for as long as possible. Support is also given to those who are caring for someone with mental health issues.

Help with practical issues

Trained volunteers phone or visit people at home to help with practical matters such as:

  • benefit entitlement
  • keeping warm in an affordable way
  • keeping healthy.

The volunteers provide advocacy and signposting to other sources of help, in a friendly way that is sensitive to the older person’s culture and way of life.

Luton’s cultural diversity means that that there is a wide range of people using the service. In the 2001 Census, the percentage of black, Asian and minority-ethnic people in the town was the fourth-highest of any district outside of London. Therefore, volunteers are drawn from BAME community groups throughout the town.

The partnership

Luton’s POPP partnership brings together:

  • Bedfordshire and Luton Mental Health and Social Care Partnership Trust
  • Luton Borough Council
  • Luton Primary Care Trust (PCT)
  • the University of Luton
  • voluntary organisations and community groups.
     

Contact

Jenny Goff, Planning and Service Development Manager (older persons)
Luton Borough Council
telephone: 01582 547 661

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With age comes wisdom

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Older Wiser Lutonians

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