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isolation Archives

Not just for Christmas

Posted on 19th December 2016 by

Sparkle hope signs

Last year I was able to go on my Christmas break with a very positive story to tell for Christmas (see I had been on my own in the office when I received a phone call from a woman who was very concerned about her friend Gerry. His wife had died just over a year previously and he was living on his own in the top flat of a Hove terrace. He was very isolated. As Gerry was 94 and not very steady on his feet, she was worried that he might fall on the stairs (as his wife had done). Also, she was a shopkeeper and was very busy over the Christmas period so she couldn’t get to see Gerry as often as she liked.

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The Last Week

Posted on 11th March 2016 by

"The Last Week" NCS blog image

Last Friday, I was covering the telephone in the office and took several interesting calls. First, one from Gerry.

He had been to see Matthew, a 73-year-old man with a learning disability, who had been admitted to hospital earlier in the week because he had been feeling suicidal. Gerry had been helping Matthew into new sheltered accommodation only the week before. Matthew has also been suffering badly with his legs and is losing his mobility. Over the last few months, Gerry has been seeing Matthew two or three times a week, liaising with social services and his housing provider on Matthew’s behalf.

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Who Cares?

Posted on 10th March 2016 by

"Who Cares?" NCS blog image

2016 began in a way that really emphasised to me the problem of social isolation that the Neighbourhood Care Scheme seeks to address. Just as I was preparing to leave the office at the end of my second day back at work after the Christmas break, we had a phone call from Jim, one of our volunteers. He had just been to see Michael, the 80-year-old man who he visited through the scheme. He had got no answer from the doorbell and Michael’s phone was engaged. In the office, we contacted the hospital to see whether Michael had been admitted (he hadn’t) and then Michael’s landlords (a housing association), who suggested that we call the police. We did this, and were assured that they would call round to Michael’s flat to check that he was okay. Two days later we had a call from the Coroner’s office to say that Michael had been found dead in his flat. We don’t know how long his death had gone unnoticed.

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The Week Before Christmas

Posted on 23rd December 2015 by

cat at christmas

The time just before Christmas is always very busy in the Neighbourhood Care Scheme (NCS) office as we try to get things done before the holiday shutdown. This year has been no exception. Here is one pre-Christmas story that certainly has a happy beginning and I hope will have a happy continuation in 2016…

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Isolation – NCS Manager Speaks on BBC Sussex Radio

Posted on 4th June 2014 by

“The difficulty, for people who are isolated, is that they become invisible to other people.”

In response to the news of a broken lift causing a disabled man in Brighton to be housebound for a month, Sean de Podesta, service manager of our Neighbourhood Care Scheme (NCS), spoke on BBC Sussex radio – twice! He was on Sussex Breakfast talking to Neil Pringle this morning, which you can listen to on the BBC Sussex website until it expires in seven days time. Sean is featured about 2 hours and 13 minutes into the show. He was also featured on Afternoon with Allison Ferns, which finishes at 4:00pm today – you can listen to that on the BBC Sussex website as well, but again this expires in seven days.

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Neighbourhood Care Scheme Featured in BBC Article on Loneliness

Posted on 23rd May 2014 by
Elaine & Miles

An older but lovely photo of Miles and Elaine
(more recent pictures on the BBC article)

Yesterday the BBC published an article titled “Loneliness: Beating the curse of old age” featuring Elaine Rothwell, a Neighbourhood Care Scheme (NCS) member, and her volunteer Miles Sigley-Brown. It gives us a small window into Elaine’s long and eventful life then highlights a big contrast: Elaine lives alone.

Elaine told BBC journalist, Nick Triggle, how she feels about her situation and how she gets on with her life despite the loneliness of older age. One major part of enjoying her life is her volunteer, Miles, who was matched with her by the NCS.

“[Elaine] has found comfort in a new friendship she has developed with Miles Sigley-Brown, a 46-year-old whom she was introduced to through a local befriending scheme.”

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