Jane Holliday, Karen Dennis and Ellen Hall from Age UK were welcomed to the meeting to deliver a presentation in respect of the Penistone Social Inclusion Service. A brief history of the commissioned service was given and included how the service was promoted, partnership, the Good Neighbours scheme, the ‘Eyes on the Ground’ initiative, the Community Car Scheme and the individual service. A number of individual and group case studies was provided, showing the positive impact that has been achieved in the community. It was noted that services are provided in Penistone, Millhouses and Thurlstone but that there is a need to develop it in the more isolated rural communities of the Penistone Ward.
t was highlighted that there is a huge variety of groups in Penistone and new groups are being developed all the time. One Councillor was aware of a ‘Men in Sheds’ project running in the Scissett/Denby Dale area and felt that this, or something similar, could be replicated in Penistone. It was also reported that 30 people have volunteered for the service in the first 6 months, 22 of whom were not previously involved with Age UK. Volunteers are mostly older people and have provided over 120 hours of time in building relationships, identifying support needs and developing skills and awareness around older people’s issues.
A discussion took place around the need for a community repair service. This falls under Age UK’s ‘Good Neighbours’ scheme and also Yorkshire Housing’s ‘Stay Put’ service provides similar support. It was highlighted that financial advice is also provided by Age UK for those aged 50+, claiming more than £1 million for those aged 65+ across Barnsley.
It was felt that the Community Car scheme could be developed further and that this needs to be promoted widely, with an accompanying need for more volunteer drivers. Members also discussed the merits of raising the awareness of dementia, highlighting that although there are a number of services available such as memory services, day centres and carer support, they are not all in one place which makes it difficult for service users and their carers to navigate without support.
RESOLVED that attendees be thanked for their attendance and contribution and for the positive impact which the service is making in the community.