Helping people stay in their homes
Universal Care in Beaconsfield is celebrating its 30th anniversary by supporting 30 local and national charities over 30 weeks from April 4 to October 28. Each charity will receive a cash donation and free use of Universal Care’s conference room to use as it wishes during its allocated week. Each week, this paper will showcase one of the 30 charities. The 15th charity being supported is Voices and Choices which has the conference room on Thursday July 14
VOICES and Choices is a new local organisation which has been set up during the past year.
We will provide a service to people who require information and advice to help them find the practical services which will help them stay in their own home.
Our team of volunteers will provide telephone advice or visit people in their own homes to help them find the service which meets their individual needs.
This could be anything from finding a decorator, plumber or gardener, to identifying a service which can walk the dogs or look after the cat while the owner is in hospital or on holiday.
We are currently compiling a web-based directory of local services which will be accessible to anyone using a computer, or we can provide information over the telephone if preferred.
Printed information sheets and booklets can be provided if required.
Our visiting volunteers can provide more assistance in helping someone draw up descriptions of the service they require, advertising the work through our own website and address, and even assisting in the interview process if required.
We are committed to making sure that people are supported to make their own informed decisions.
We will also offer support to people who require help in making other important decisions about their lives.
Working with local professional organisations we will support people to access financial advice about issues such as equity release, or to make decisions about writing wills, taking out Lasting Powers of Attorney, advance decisions or advance statements.
We are also providing community advocacy to people in our localities who need someone to help them speak up for themselves when talking to family members or professionals, or who may need to prepare for a visit to a CAB or the DWP.
We can go along to these meetings if that is also requested by our clients.
Finally we can offer a Peace of Mind service to family carers and members who live away from our clients.
We are currently developing this service but will offer a range of options from a subscription to our newsletter through to a commitment to find help when a practical incident occurs which will require immediate access to a locksmith, a plumber, an electrician etc.
Our volunteers receive induction training which is accredited by the Open College Network.
They undertake DBS checks and receive on-going supervision and support. They also have the opportunity to meet for peer group discussions and to access further training as required.
Our volunteers provide a quality service but also have the opportunity to make new friends and enjoy their role.
We are now looking for more volunteers to help with the information, advice and advocacy service and for volunteer to assist in the development of our webbased information services.
We are also looking to develop partnerships with local organisations, both professional services and other voluntary and service providers who can help us deliver our services to their own clients or contacts.
For information about volunteering or working in partnership with us, please visit www.voicesandchoices.org.uk or ring 07872 600 565.