A project to identify and support lonely and isolated individuals living in rural communities in Highland Perthshire has been awarded £10,500 from the SSE Griffin and Calliachar Windfarm fund.
The funding, which was announced last week by SSE, will allow the Care and Wellbeing Co-operative to employ a project co-ordinator and to extend the geographical area covered by the initial project.
Thanks to the funding, members of the Care and Wellbeing Co-op – a group of rural Perthshire based self-employed carers, professionals, therapists and well-being specialists – are able to offer vulnerable and socially isolated individuals support and wellbeing opportunities within their local communities.
The Co-op’s members offer personalised care, support and well-being services in rural Perthshire and receive funding from the Scottish Government’s Self Directed Support Innovation Fund through GrowBiz.
Working alongside local communities, the Health and Social Care Partnership, private care providers and voluntary sector groups, it aims to support people, in particular older people and those with additional needs and health problems, to lead the life they want in their local community.
It also aims to create and support a network of micro-businesses and social enterprises delivering a range of services within the care and wellbeing sectors, and in a variety of different ways.
The loneliness and well-being project was successfully piloted in conjunction with Aberfeldy and Rannoch Medical Practice and those behind the initiative are delighted that it can now be further developed to help even more people.
Anneke Kraakman is one of the directors of the Care and Wellbeing Co-operative and involved in the Biodynamic Garden in Camserney.
She said: “This is an increasingly important part of our community which needs innovative and creative solutions, particularly in rural areas due to demographic changes and pressure on statutory health and social care services.
“We aim to support the increasing numbers of people who do not meet the eligibility criteria for self-directed support or services.
“Through the pilot project, which was very successful, we found that GPs in the area were sympathetic to social prescription and referred people to us for a range of services – everything from gardening to walking.
“We have next to the care side, something of a unique offering through the skills and experience of our members – we have writers, alternative therapists, yoga instructors, walking in nature guides, herbalists, biodynamic gardeners – all available to meet people’s needs and wishes.
“We are very grateful to SSE for this funding, without which we couldn’t do what we do.”
Community investment manager at SSE, Gareth Shields, added: “With cuts to budgets across different support services we are pleased to be able to provide assistance to this valuable service which offers support to vulnerable and isolated people across Highland Perthshire.”
The SSE Griffin and Calliachar Windfarm fund is open to applications from local community groups and organisations within the area four times a year. The deadline for applications for the next funding round is in January. For further information see online at http://sse.com/communities/fundlocations/griffinandcalliachar/
Pictured are, from left, Care and Wellbeing Co-operative director Olivia Robertson from The Home Straight, Community investment manager at SSE Gareth Shields, Care and Wellbeing Co-operative director Anneke Kraakman from the Biodynamic Garden and HielanHands, and Care and Wellbeing Co-operative member Heather Fraill from Highland Homecare.