PRESS RELEASE 30/7/2015: Supporting disabled older people to live well in South Yorkshire

A CHARITY is working with older people to raise awareness of disability solutions in rural areas.

A free event for people living with disabilities will take place in Braithwell, near Doncaster, in August with carers and families also welcome.

Rural Action Yorkshire, who is holding the event, currently deploy community agents across Doncaster who work one-to-one with primarily older people, connecting them up with local services as part of the Doncaster Community Connect project, which is funded by the local council.

As part of this work it has become apparent that older people in rural areas are not often aware of all the support they can receive.

Sharon Middling, who works in rural areas on the project, said: “My role of providing face-to-face support in Doncaster has brought many issues to the fore which older people face. This is often loneliness and isolation, but there are also concerns around health and wellbeing.

“The aim of this day is to look at what disability solutions are available for rural areas. It can be difficult to access support when living rurally, and this is made worse by limited access to transport or reduced mobility due to illness or health conditions.

“We will bring people into contact with solutions such as mobility aids and holistic therapies and crafts, as well as explore the benefits of light exercise. Being a rural citizen does not mean you must miss out on the wider support available to you.”

Previously, the charity has worked with people like Charles, who after several heart attacks found his mobility significantly reduced, which not only isolated him but also his wife.

Community agents found that Charles’ wheelchair was too heavy to be lifted by his wife to fit into the car, and a small wheel walker was unsuitable. The agents identified two different lightweight wheelchairs for Charles and his wife to trial free of charge along with an accompanying hoist that can be fitted to the car.

Sharon said: “Previously we have provided support on an individual basis but want to throw it open to the public in the hope that anyone we haven’t yet reached can find out what help is out there.”

The event takes place on Friday 14th August, at Masters House on the High Street in Braithwell, from 10am – 2pm. There will be refreshments and homemade cakes available free of charge and transport can also be arranged at no extra cost. For more information, call Rural Action Yorkshire on 0845 313 0270 or visit their website.

Sharon said: “Regardless of our health status, we can all be supported to live well and stay independent for longer, especially when the right help is in place. This can be harder in rural areas and that feeling of being cut off or left behind can be more intense, which is why we’ll continue to strive for the wellbeing of older people in these areas.”



Editor’s Notes

Media contact: Candice Dowson, Marketing & PR Officer, Rural Action Yorkshire tel. 0845 313 0270.

We would be interested in a staff photographer attending the event.

Rural Action Yorkshire

Based at Askham Bryan, near York, RAY is one of 38 Rural Community Councils in England.  It isan independent, charitable, and voluntary organisation working across rural areas of North, South and West Yorkshire, to help communities improve the quality of life for all people living and working in rural Yorkshire.

RAY enables and empowers communities to develop the confidence to help themselves, and to ensure their needs are heard by policy makers and service providers – on a local, regional and national scale. Key work includes:

*Offering support, training, events and resources on everything affecting life in a rural area

*Help with funding, running community buildings, and staying up to date with the latest legislation

*Assisting with the implementation of Community Led Plans, which identify the strengths and weaknesses of an area and plan the future of community development work.

RAY and the other 37 rural community councils across England form the national ACRE Network (Action with Communities in Rural England). Find Rural Action Yorkshire online at Twitter @RuralYorkshire