Our vision: A world in which older people flourish Our mission: To improve the lives of older people in West Sussex.
Organisation: We are a charity and a social enterprise driven by the needs and aspirations of people in later life.
The history of our organisation:
Age Concern West Sussex was founded in 1957 by West Sussex County Council with staff seconded by the Council to manage its affairs. In 1972, the organisation changed its name from West Sussex Association of Elderly People to Age Concern West Sussex, and in 1980 the organisation first employed staff independently of the Council. In April 2010 we changed our name to Age UK West Sussex (AWS).
Over its long history, AWS has moved from a focus on ‘welfare’ to developing a role in the policy and planning of services for older people across the county. Our core staff have grown from several part-time volunteers to a large team of paid and volunteer staff.
AWS is an independent charity and a member of the Age England Assocation. We are a Brand partner with Age UK. AWS is financially supported by West Sussex County Council, NHS West Sussex, Arun, Crawley and Mid Sussex District Councils. Other funding is made up of project grants, donations and legacies and commission from the sale of our insurance products. We are developing cost effective paid for services too.
AWS is managed by a Board of Trustees, members are elected for three year terms. The Board meets every 2 months. Trustees delegate the day-to-day management of the organisation to the Chief Executive Our services include:
Information and Advice Service
AWS has had an information and advice service for many years. The service handles more than 500 enquiries a month, and works to a national quality assurance standard. Enquiries can be made by telephone, mail, email or by calling in to our office. Home visits are often made too. We have a team of paid staff and volunteers who operate our county wide information and advice service, who are able to deal with in-depth enquiries as well as signposting to other agencies where appropriate, including other AWS services. Issues such as Debt, needing a care home another housing queries are key issues in 2013.
Help at Home
This service operates countywide and it provides cleaning, shopping and other practical support to older people. The project is both a paid for service and in some districts a subsidised service, funded by WSCC. The service matches home helps to older people.
Home from Hospital
Age UK Horsham District, Age UK West Sussex and Guild Care are working in partnership to deliver a countywide ‘Home from Hospital’ service for people living within West Sussex. The service is aimed at vulnerable people who have no care or support at discharge from hospital. Initially the service can provide information and signposting to other organisations and agencies.
A volunteer will then provide practical support for a 6 week period. The service initially ensures that any hazards within their home are identified and mitigated and that their basic needs are addressed, such as basic shopping, light housework, escort to medical appointments and arrange for prescriptions to be delivered. Each person has an individual support plan developed which helps them to settle back into independent living. There is no customer charge for this service as it is fully funded by WSCC.
AWS runs 5 activity centres – The Tamarisk Centre in Littlehampton; The Laburnum Centre in Bognor; The Silver Birch Centre in Crawley, The Redwood Centre in Haywards Heath and The Cherry Tree Centre in Burgess Hill. With support from volunteers, our aim is to continue to develop thriving community venues for older people. The activities within the centres are varied – service users can enjoy card games, line dancing, exercise classes and computer classes. There are also hairdressing and bathing facilities in some centres. The laburnum centre has a fully equipped gym. All centres provide good healthy food at reasonable prices. The centres aim to get involved in local community events and provide opportunities for young people to interact in a positive manner with people in later life.
In Crawley and Adur we are funded by the local councils and the county council to provide clubs for older people in the community. We have 20 clubs operating in Tilgate, Three Bridges, Southgate and Bewbush. There are a growing number of clubs in Lancing, Shoreham, Sompting, Southwick and Fishergate There are also roaming lunch clubs in the Crawley area.
Community Support Worker
AWS has part-time workers who Social Workers can refer to in order to assist older people with one-off, practical tasks to enable them to carry on living independently. The service is for people whose needs are less severe and so don’t qualify for Adult Services’ support in Chichester.
Prevention Assessment Team
The Northern and Western Prevention Assessment Teams are a multi-disciplinary team offering a holistic approach to all clients, assessing their care, health and social needs, promoting independence, health and well-being, preventing avoidable health and social issues and supporting independent living. We provide the community support workers to the team.
Your Home…Your Choice
In Mid Sussex and Crawley we offer a housing options service to older people visiting them at home to discuss in detail their future housing needs.
Healthy Lifestyle Projects
In Mid Sussex the Health and Well-being Board fund us to work direct with individuals and with older person led groups to increase physical activity in the district.
In addition to providing services to people in later life. AWS represents the interests of older people at statutory and public meetings to provide opportunities for two-way consultation. We provide support and advice to small groups providing services for older people and are involved in establishing a range of new services. Also, AWS, in partnership with others, is supporting older people to have a voice in their local area with the development of local older person’s forums.