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Hanover joins with RVS to help improve older people's health and wellbeing during National Volunteers Week

2 June 2016

Fernbank Court Coffee Morning Bw

As funding for community-based activities for older people comes under increased pressure, cases of loneliness and isolation are on the rise. To help combat this, Hanover Housing Association has been exploring different ways of improving the health and wellbeing of its residents.

When Carol Atkinson, a local manager at Fernbank Court in Selby, noticed that some residents were becoming isolated after the closure of local authority activities, she contacted the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) to see what they could help provide.

After meeting with RVS it was agreed that the organisation would provide volunteers to support residents at the estate. Every Wednesday the volunteers set up a mobile cafe at the estate, which sees 30 residents regularly attend the coffee morning. In addition, the enthusiastic volunteers run activities, such as quizzes and party games, that can be enjoyed by family members.

Being at the estate on such a regular basis enables the volunteers to engage with residents and promote other services that RVS deliver, such as befriending and community transport.

David Budding, who resides at Fernbank Court, said: 'Although Fernbank Court is a lovely place to live, many of my neighbours used to keep to themselves. These coffee mornings are a great way to make new friends and catch up with my neighbours.'

Lisa Smith, Housing Manager at Hanover Housing Association, said: 'The Royal Voluntary Service volunteers are an integral part of the estate. The 18 months of hard work to get the scheme up and running has been well worth it - since the mobile cafe began residents are much happier and more socially interactive.'