Table of contents

Current services in relation to need

Adults :: Social Isolation [Update in progress] :: Current services in relation to need

Medway men's health group

The focus of the group is on reducing the isolation of men. It was established in November 2013 and is supported and facilitated by Rethink. The group meets weekly at the Sunlight Centre, in Gillingham and usually over 20 men attend. The men attending the session feel that they are in a comfortable environment where they can discuss any problems or concerns that they have, receive peer support, and receive health promotion information.

Flexicare housing

Flexi-care housing in Medway is a model of supported accommodation which provides 24 hour care on site and allows older people to live as independently as possible. Flexi-care housing provides an opportunity to preserve or rebuild independent living skills which makes independent living possible for people with a range of abilities. Flexi-care is available to older people aged 55 and over including those with sensory needs, mental disorder including dementia, short- or long-term illnesses, and those who require end of life care.

Befriending schemes

The Hands & Gillingham Volunteer Centre and Rochester Hands Volunteer Bureau offer befriending schemes to provide support and information to the community and to develop the involvement of other voluntary and statutory organisations. It is offered primarily to elderly or disabled people who have difficulty leaving the house to due to their infirmity, and therefore can become isolated.

Suitable befrienders are matched to clients and visit them at home. During the visit, they can chat about everyday issues, enjoy a game of cards or encourage the client to contact old friends again. Befrienders are also able to take clients on days out to local amenities, such as the park or shops, giving them the opportunity to meet others and enjoy the fresh air. Regular contact between the client and befriender can establish a strong bond and encourage participation in community activities to encourage independence.

Leisure, arts and cultural activities delivered by Medway Council

There is currently a wealth of activities being offered across Medway including leisure (including physical activity) and education sessions delivered by Medway Adult and Community Learning Service. Medway Sport is working with partner organisations to launch initiatives such as boccia coaching for care home staff and afternoon tea dances. Medway Sport provide the Sports centre senior offer. The over 60s can enjoy a comprehensive timetable of activities at sport and leisure sites ranging from badminton, short tennis and table tennis to short mat bowls, chairobics, walking football and senior step. Most sites also offer a friendly social element with external trips and activities. The Senior Sports programme is also offered to help older people to live better, healthier lives.

Medway Libraries' host regular groups which bring together a wide range of people who enjoy reading and talking about books

Activities delivered by volunteer organisations in Medway

Medway Voluntary Action provides a range of support to help not-for-profit organisations in Medway to assist them to be sustainable and connected. Both the voluntary sector and Medway Council offer a wide range of volunteering opportunities in local communities. Many other voluntary sector organisations such as Carers First and Age UK also support the reduction of social isolation.

The Women's Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS) has recently opened an information centre for people over 55 in Medway. This is funded mainly by Medway Council, with a contribution from WRVS, the centre offers information and signposting on a range of issues that older people identify as being important to them. The centre is based in Central Chatham and is staffed by a team of local volunteers, led by a centre manager. In addition to the provision of information, the centre also provides the opportunity for older people to learn how to use computers. It has a small community cafe and will provide the opportunity for other organisations to hold regular 'surgeries' when older people can get expert advice on specific issues.