Walking through our Park Street Day Centre each day, saying morning, and seeing both regular and new faces genuinely makes my day. Teapots clinking, general nattering and the odd eruption of laughter all contribute to the vibrant atmosphere created in your safe space at Park Street.
You also pick up on little snippets of conversation and, one recently really caught my ear and I smiled as I continued.
“The thought of coming here each week to see you all really keeps my spirits up” Spoken from the heart and all that was needed was an open door with a big smile and a very warm welcome to make such a difference.
That’s what we’re all about at Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire and you might be surprised at how we may be able to support people in our community.
We’re not just about cups of tea, games of bingo, and helping with your laundry. We provide warmth for the cold, company for the lonely, advice for the searching, emergency care for those longing to come home, and a rapid response for those at risk or who need immediate assistance.
Last year I rounded up the Annual Report by stating “The future holds much uncertainty for us all, including Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire, however one thing that is certain is our commitment to support older people in every way we can for as long as we are able to.”
I’m beyond proud to lead a team that provided that certainty, commitment, and support. They care so deeply, adapt to deliver and make a genuine difference. If an individual’s needs don’t fit into a box, we simply move the box! That’s what makes us proud to be Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire.
Please join me in reflecting on the below insight into our year as Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire.
The future holds much uncertainty for us all, including Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire, however one thing that is certain is our commitment to support older people in every way we can for as long as we are able to.
CEO – AgeUK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire
Without the support of such wonderful Volunteers, Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire would not be able to deliver the many services many older people dote on each day. Activities such as Kurling, Zumba, and Table Tennis, homemade sausage rolls, and locally produced coffee in our restaurant and for many, the only voice someone may hear that week from a Befriender.
People volunteer for many reasons. To help their local community, to make friends, gain valuable skills, or donate their skills to others. A close community, many lifelong friends have been made from volunteering and donated time has been seen to flourish into employment. Enjoyment has been top of the list when asked why do you volunteer? The sense of togetherness, supporting other people, and going home each day with a sense of achievement is one that cannot be bought.
Our Befriending Service is the beating heart of our Volunteering Team.
Knowing my call brightens up his day, means the world.
Carefully matched people who may experience loneliness are introduced via telephone and chat once a week. Topics covered can be from common interests of gardening, bingo, and grandchildren living away to the great British weather, who’s been voted out of Love Island, or childhood memories This free service helps to keep some of our most vulnerable customers connected to someone and have the opportunity to chat on a regular basis.
During the very first lockdown in April 2020 we had 299 volunteers come forwards to donate their time and skills. 1282 Befriending calls were made at one of the toughest times in modern history alongside 1924 parcels full of vital items for those staying safe at home.
At a time when the community was key and we all stepped up together to support the older people of Lincoln & South Lincolnshire. Many Volunteers enjoyed their time so much with us, they have continued with their roles and even found employment from gaining skills with the organisation.
I volunteered as Befriender and have been speaking to my client Barbara for the last six months. Barbara was a similar age to my Mum which means we can reminisce with conversations about TV shows we used to watch, the lost art of sitting down as a family for meal times and so many life experiences we can both relate to leading to some delightfully lively conversations.
We speak every Monday for 30 minutes and given we have spoken for such a long time; the conversation is easy and something I genuinely look forward to. Our conversations are often full of laughter- which is usually at the expense of Barbara (in a nice way) of something funny that has happened to her that week.
If I’ve had a tough week, or morning ahead, my time with Barbara is the time I need to close my laptop, take time to reset, and enjoy listening to all about Barbara’s week. What’s happened in that week’s Peaky Blinders and what gadget she’s bought online are hot topics.
When I first volunteered as a Befriender, I didn’t expect to get much out of it. I fully expected, or should I say hoped my client would benefit. But I can honestly say my experience as a Befriender has benefited me in ways I didn’t expect.
As the world begins to return to normal, I very much hope to be able to visit Barbara in her home. To be able to sit and have a cuppa in person with someone I consider a true friend shows just what a valuable service the Befriending scheme is.
*names in case studies have been changed
Welfare Benefits including disability benefits
Access to Health and Social Care Services including Adult Social Care assessments.
Housing Options – from minor adaptations in their own home through to considering moving into a care home and the financial regulations and options available.
Transport options including bus passes and Blue Badge applications
A FREE service many would be lost without. This year our Reception answered the phone 25,034 times to people searching for support. Many over 50’s are searching for information to support them as they enter the later years of life. Money, housing, and, loneliness are all hot topics. We have a dedicated team with a wealth of knowledge, signposting, and resources to support.
All information is impartial and enables people to make informed choices when making decisions about their future or that of their family and friends. Support is also offered to carers of older people as they start to face situations that they may not have encountered before and can become overwhelmed with where to turn for help.
A staggering £850,573 was generated by the I&A team through previously unclaimed benefits. This may allow someone to be able to have a hot bath, turn the heating on or treat themselves to a fish and chip supper with extra scrumps. Additional funds can be the difference between having the lights on highlighting trip hazards, being able to have a cleaner to keep their home as their castle, or being able to have that slice of cake with a cuppa to keep in touch with friends and get all the local gossip.
Our I&A team received 5657 inquiries for support. Within these inquiries £61, 946 was paid back to customers by the DWP, £31, 800 in energy rebates, and 171 deliveries and collections of tablets to help people keep in touch and connected with the outside world that at times can feel so far away
The difference can be seen through stories such as Mrs. D
Alice lives alone. She has good friends and neighbours and is very independent. However, since lockdown and having to shield, Alice told us she feels that she has become quite frail and has started to struggle with her personal care due to living with Lymphedema and Osteoarthritis, which affects her mobility. Alice had recently been admitted to the hospital where she had a 4-day stay due to a foot infection.
Alice had sent for an Attendance Allowance application form from the Department of Work and Pensions and having looked at it, realised she would like some support to complete the form. She contacted Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire Information and Advice department for assistance.
Having the extra money from my Attendance Allowance award helps me pay for support and stops me worrying
Our Information and Advice advisor called Alice to discuss her referral.
During this initial conversation, we identified that not only may she be eligible for Attendance Allowance but may benefit from further support available through Aids and Adaptations around the home, Lifeline, and a Blue Badge. We talked to Alice about the Adult Social Care needs assessment and offered to complete a Benefit Check, to make sure she was receiving all the benefits she was entitled to and at the correct amounts.
We thought she wouldn’t be eligible for a Disabled Parking Badge as she did not drive. Our advisor explained the badge was for the individual and could be used when she travelled in any vehicle.
Consent was obtained for a Disabled Parking Badge (Blue Badge) application and a future appointment was made for both the Blue Badge and the Attendance Allowance application.
These appointments were carried out over the telephone due to Covid restrictions.
I would recommend anyone struggling to get in touch with Age UK. The lady from Age UK was marvellous, very patient.
At the appointment Alice’s very good friend supported her and our advisor completed both Applications. They were then sent to her to read, sign, date, and post to the relevant organisations.
Our advisor rang Alice at a later date to obtain the outcome of the applications, who told us she had been awarded High Rate Attendance Allowance at £89.60 per week and her Blue Badge. She was very happy with this outcome.
We also discussed the possibility and eligibility of a reduction on her winter fuel bill through the Warm Home Discount scheme. Alice originally thought she may already be receiving the £140.00 discount and was going to ask her friend to check this for her.
With consent, we arranged to call her back to see what the outcome had been. Alice had called her supplier regarding the Warm Home Discount and been told their Scheme had closed but would reopen again in February 2022. She was welcome to apply again then, and our advisor has arranged to call to help support her with this.
After conversation it was discovered Alice does not have a Smart Meter, so we discussed the advantages with her e.g. meter readings resulting in accurate billing, and sent her information on Saving Energy and paying less.
With our intervention, Alice is now in receipt of a further £89.60 per week (£4,659.00 annually) and holds a parking badge enabling easier access to venues supporting her mobility and also reducing social isolation.
It gives me the chance to leave the house for a bit of me-time. Meeting with the girls for a spot of country dancing is the highlight of my week!
Lincoln & South Lincolnshire’s beating heart, safe space, and warm welcome.
Through the doors of our Day Centre on Park Street, Lincoln lies an activity center and Eatery. approximately 1,500 people walk through those doors each week.
Following closure, during the pandemic, we did all we could to reach those who would use the Center, sometimes daily. We worried about returning. Who would return, would it be the same, and would that warm, buzz still be there. We were not disappointed.
Although it took time to get back on our feet, we were there when people felt they were ready to return.
Activities started off gradually with limited numbers. We now have a full diary of activities and classes bursting out the door.
Virtual Activities were opened up to support those wanting to stay in touch and involved where possible. 1636 people attended virtual sessions who may otherwise have been shielding on their own with no interaction, stimulation, or socialisation.
The smell of freshly baked scones, nutritious, hearty meals such as pie and mash, and freshly ground, local coffee can be smelt across the site. The background nattering, bursts of laughter, and people welcoming new faces can be heard once more.
Our Lunch Club and Friendship Groups bring together people who otherwise may not get the opportunity to socially engage with others and may become socially isolated. The warm friendly atmosphere, camaraderie and quality home cooked food make for an enjoyable relaxed experience for all.
Park Street Eatery
Open Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm our vibrant, busy restaurant serves both hot and cold food throughout the day. This year we provided over 42,000 nutritious, fresh home cooked meals, snacks, cakes and refreshments. A typical menu includes:
Throughout the year the Activity Centre hosted several special events including Lincolnshire Day which had approximately 100 attendees, two craft fayres where we had 18 different traders displaying and selling their goods. We also hosted a Valentine day lunch/dance which was attended by 60 people and our extremely popular Christmas Parties held over three days which was attended by approximately 260 older people filling the air with the smell of Christmas Dinner and the sound of laughter, singing and music.
Lincolnshire Telecare Service provides a range of affordable aids to provide a sense of security and allow you to remain at home and be supported. Items such as fall detectors, bed sensors, and, key safes can be installed in homes for reassurance and independence.
The Service is delivered in partnership by Age UK Lincoln and South Lincolnshire and Lincolnshire Housing Partnership (LHP) and covers the whole county of Lincolnshire. This service is vital for providing not only reassurance for the supported individuals but for the whole family too.
Following a hospital stay or on an urgent basis we can have equipment up and running in homes in 48 hours if required and as part of a maintenance package, all equipment can be serviced once a year for additional peace of mind. Think of it like having a member of our team sitting in the next room should you ever need them.
Should a fall occur, you will be connected with a friendly, calming person via telephone who will action the help you require? Our Response Team has specialised training and resources such as lifting devices to help you back on your feet. Should a fall be more serious, we work with the Emergency Services to get you the help you need.
Eric lived at home, on his own when he had a bad fall. This resulted in him being admitted to the hospital.
A referral was received from the hospital with Eric’s consent for him to have a lifeline and key safe fitted so that should he have any further falls he could get the help and support he needed at the push of a button. It was determined that Eric also required the response service as he had no family and friends who lived nearby that could respond to that all-important button alarm, so we were instructed to be the response for Eric.
Our telecare team arranged to visit and fit the equipment to support his safe discharge from the hospital. The team met with Eric’s concerned son who travelled up from London especially, to meet the team and have the lifeline equipment installed. This gave him the reassurance that his father would be looked after should he have any further falls, this is often a lifeline for a family that lives far away, that peace of mind and reassurance that someone will be there if needed.
Once at home, the team arranged to visit Eric to show him how to use the equipment and access the response service should he have a fall that did not require medical attention. Eric thanked the team and said it provided him and his son with some peace of mind knowing he could press the button (pendant) and access help at any time of the day or night and know that someone would come and help him.
We were called out to a ‘Stay Safe’ during the night on the 21st of December because Gerald said that all his power had gone off.
When the responders arrived at Gerald’s home it transpired that he had been away for 5 months in hospital and it was his first night back in his home. He also previously had a care package but this had been stopped due to his admittance into hospital and now he was home but alone and with no power, or heating on a cold December evening.
The Responders found themselves in the immediate position of needing to support a gentleman who had no power, no telephone, and no care package going forward.
The responders comforted Gerald, they made him warm and comfortable in bed and called the Team Leader to advise of the situation which was not what they were expecting to encounter. The Team Leader called the Emergency Duty Team at social services to report and ask for support.
The EDT were unable to offer any help at that moment in time so the team leader asked for an emergency visit in the morning so that Gerald could be assessed as a matter of urgency. We were told that they couldn’t do this and Gerald himself would have to call in the morning.
We knew immediately that this simple requirement would be problematic as he did not have a working phone due to the power being cut off. The power company could not do anything either as it was out of their normal hours.
Our response service team leader arranged with Gerald for a responder to visit him in the morning to check on him and call the power company and contact social services and arrange a visit.
Gerald needed this vital support to get the most basic of his needs met in his own home. He was very happy with this and appreciated our support.
The following morning as arranged, our Responders visited Gerald. Together our Responders together with Social Services and Gerald created an action plan and rectified some of the challenges making life so difficult for him. An emergency assessment was arranged immediately. Our support prevented this gentleman from being admitted to the hospital or having to have a transitional bed, it also offered him reassurance at a very worrying time putting his mind at rest knowing that he would get the support he needed and would no longer struggle at home.
Valuable support to remain independent in your own home and continue to live well is what our Support Services do best. Physical help with laundry, keeping the garden looking summer-ready, help with bills, D.I.Y, and jobs around the house are much easier with friendly, trusted members of our team.
It can often be the first experience of Age UK Lincoln & South Lincoln many experience and through communication and informative conversation, it can allow the next step of support much easier to talk about.
Many of our services allow people to remain in their own homes and independent
Our Handyman Service
Our handyperson service is there to support the jobs that can be a little trickier on your own or as you enter later life. Plus, it’s always nice to pop your feet up and watch someone get the job done, with good conversation, for you.
Absolutely fantastic! It couldn’t have been better. They were lovely ladies and they worked so hard. It was more than I expected
Laundry – They look beautiful. Absolutely perfect. I’ve never had laundry come back like this, they’re like new! Even the Queen could not get them any better.
Mark lives in a small property in Lincoln. He has health issues but spends his days chattering away to his two budgies and pottering around quite happily. Having to use an oxygen tank for support, maintaining his home can be a little exhausting.
After contacting Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire, Jason, one of our Handyperson Team went out to introduce himself and see what he could do to support. On his arrival, he was warmly greeted by Mark who simply asked for a chair to be made higher for him. After getting comfortable and chatting away whilst he worked Mark mentioned he had a little book of jobs piling up and asked if any could be done. Jason took the list and put a bit tick next to all of the jobs bringing a big smile to his face.
Following the jobs and general conversation, it gave Mark enough confidence to buy a mobility scooter to get him out and about to enjoy the fresh air. Jason is now booked in to build a ramp suited to his property so he can come whizzing in and out as he pleases.
From one call to make a chair higher, curtain rails have been fixed, carpet has been fixed to remove trip hazards and a new lease of life has been given to Mark. All whist he’s had his feet up with a cuppa.
Connect to Support Lincolnshire is an online platform full of information for adults about local groups, services within the community, and activities. Easily accessible, you can webchat, email, or call to access further information and support at a time and level suitable for you. 399 people got in touch through digital methods to look for guidance and support.
Focused on the Connect to Support Lincolnshire are topics for support including
It’s our duty as Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire to signpost to this service, support with information, guidance, and an educated team to support with guiding our older community.
Our Fundraising Team supports our vital free services and projects.
Vital services such as Information & Advice, Befriending and addressing those gaps in services to be filled, grown, and make a big difference in our community.
It’s been a whirlwind of a year with the continued restrictions making getting out and about in the community and bringing everyone together a challenge. Events such as Age on the Stage, Christmas Concerts, and Community Fundraising have had to take a physical back seat, but for the right reasons. We’ve taken the chance this year to plan for the coming years and invest in recourses to bring you new ways of allowing older people to flourish. We have an exciting few years to come!
Legacies have continued to support us. The most precious, selfless gift that can be given is a gift to give to the future. These gifts allow us to continue to provide services, develop and make the difference felt by the person leaving such an incredible gesture. Our team plans to develop the support in making sure you are guided, comfortable, and educated in making your wishes known and documented.
Corporate support continued despite the tough times we’ve faced. When doors close and times are hard, you stood up, rolled your sleeves up, and took us back with your generosity! Businesses such as Nationwide held Christmas jumper days, Supermarkets including Morrisons and Asda provided essentials and funding via their community outreach projects, and Williams Wealth and Western Power saw the drive and determination of Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire to step up, deliver and be there, at the forefront for our older communities.
Our mission remains the same and £54,371 was raised by our community wanting to see older people of Lincoln & South Lincolnshire love later life and flourish.
Our shop in Boston is full of hidden little treasures; you really never know what you might find.
Designer labels, furniture to furnish your home or recycle, wedding dresses, entertainment for the kids, homeware to get you started, and fashion from well-known brands. All are donated by our wonderful community to support older people to flourish.
The shop generates unrestricted income allowing us to use it where it is needed most when we need it. Generating the funds takes time and resources, however, we are heavily supported by a dedicated team of volunteers. There is always an opportunity to gain new skills, meet new people, and know you are supporting local people.
Our new service this year, Home Removals, is a great avenue to have the support to sort, pack and transport to a new home. We have helped people to downsize allowing donations to come into our store or for those moving and needing additional equipment or furniture they can work with our teams to settle into their new home.
Our priority throughout such a challenging year was always our team and customers’ safety. Our doors were open one minute and closed the next. But each time our doors opened you stood up came to see us and helped us to create £89,787 worth of unrestricted income.
Our aim is to develop our shop into a space people cannot only shop for a bargain but can come for advice, and support and see it as a safe space to talk. Sometimes the smallest conversation of a preloved knitted jumper from Marks and Spencer can be the start of a journey of support with laundry, benefit checks support, or the beginning of an opportunity with a volunteering position.
The HART service is one we are overwhelmingly proud to deliver.
Its main aim is to assist Lincolnshire County Hospitals in avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions and delayed hospital discharges. For example, helping to reduce attendance at A & E, emergency admissions, protracted hospital stays, and other delayed transfers of care and, at the same time, enable people to regain and retain independence.
The figures speak a thousand words of how valued and necessary this service is.
Number of referrals: 3654
97% of all cases handled by HART required no further hospital intervention whilst their case was open and under HARTS care
£282,000 saved from hospital discharge into further care provision
£760,000 saved through admission avoidance
£1,042,000 proven savings to the NHS
This lifeline to both patients and health care professionals provides up to 72 hours of support at home where hospital admission is deemed inappropriate or avoidable, or after hospital discharge, when responsive or planned care can either bridge a gap until longer-term arrangements are established, or provide short-term support to sustain independence.
Providing instant relief to both patients, their families, carers, and friends allows recovery to take place in the comfort of people’s own homes. It gives that much need time to those caring to have some time to themselves and know their loved one is receiving the very best care possible.
Without your support, attendance, and genuine care you bring to Age UK Lincoln & South Lincolnshire, we wouldn’t be able to reach over 4000 older people each week; allowing them to love later life and flourish.
Thank you for sharing this year with us and we can’t wait to share our growing journey with you into next year and beyond.View the 2020 review