Does this let Jeremy Hunt off the hook and allow underfunding to continue? Is it privatisation by stealth or just local people doing good deeds for payment and to be encouraged and applauded?
“Ottery Help Scheme has launched a new chargeable service to offer more support to the community as well secure its future for years to come.
The charity says it is trying to be proactive by running a home services as it currently relies on donations from grants and members of the public. Through home services, user can pay a fee and book a member of the team come out to them. The employed staff will be able to assist with in a range of ways including cleaning, shopping, meal preparation and gardening as well as offering to sit in for carers. This will sit alongside the help scheme’s free or subsidised befriending, memory café and transportation services.
Last year, more than 100 helpers gave up nearly 6,000 hours in the community, with volunteer drivers driving 49,228 miles to take residents to appointments.
Helen Harms, chief officer for the help scheme, said: “The NHS is looking for schemes to help with allowing people to stay in their own home. “We are trying to become self-sufficient, we are trying to provide services which help people stay independent and living in their own homes and provide an income to sustain the help scheme for the future.
“We do really rely on donations and if they one day stopped we would have to fund ourselves. We are being proactive to be self sufficient and not hoping of getting enough donations in, we have been very luck for such a long time and we have been going for 20 years.”
The charity has recently been boosted by the La La Choir, which raised £1,300 at its last concert. It is also being supported by a trio of East Devon law firms throughout October as part of charity will month. Gilbert Stephens, East Devon Law and Christine Ashby, will donate 50 per cent of the service fee to the scheme.
Helen added: “We are so grateful to these local firms for their support over the setting up this scheme to benefit the charity, a 50 per cent donation for their will writing service is a significant contribution.”