A social care provider operating across Surrey has been shortlisted for a regional award. Surrey Choices has been short-listed for the Living and Ageing Well in Surrey Awards 2015. Surrey Choices supports people with a range of abilities to find the best care, activities and services for their needs across Surrey.
It has been shortlisted for an award in the ‘Bringing the Community Together’ category for the work they do in the local community to prevent elderly people who live alone feeling isolated.
In 2014, Surrey Choices staff formed a ‘Tea and Memories’ group where like-minded people come together to enjoy tea and cake. The group is hosted in a room especially designed to replicate a tea room in the 1940s to inspire memories, discussions and reminiscence.
The Tea and Memories group is open to both men and women aged over 60 years old living in Guildford and the surrounding areas. Free transport is provided by Surrey Choices for those who attend, to ensure the group is accessible to all.
When the group first began numbers were low, but this gradually increased as word of mouth spread within the local community. The group has proved to be very successful, and has reunited two ladies in their 80s who had been school friends but had lost contact with each other. The group was the first time the ladies had seen each other since school and has allowed them to rekindle their friendship and share many happy memories.
One lady who attends the group lives alone with no friends or family nearby and only saw people at her church. She has been welcomed into the group and formed new friendships, so she no longer feels isolated.
Part of the service is to ensure the safeguarding of older people in their homes and in the local community, as staff are vigilant in monitoring their health and wellbeing. Staff will listen to individuals, respond appropriately to any concerns and signpost relevant organisations or people where necessary.
Jill Budd, Senior manager at Surrey Choices said: “The team at Lockwood are delighted to have been nominated for this award and it is fantastic that we have been short- listed. Peta Hayden, Day service officer, has worked very hard to get the Tea and Memories room just right, and it transports you back in time as soon as you walk in. Our customers always have an enjoyable time and fills our hub with talking and laughter.”
The Living and Ageing Well in Surrey Awards Ceremony will take place on Wednesday 18th November at The Martineau Room, Dorking Halls in Dorking where Surrey Choices will find out if they have won the award in the ‘Bringing the Community Together’ category.