Coming to the rescue
Since 1948 a Somerset charity has been striving to improve life for older people, as KATE BARRINGTON explains
In the early 1970s the charity now known as Age UK Somerset got a request to help transport Flossie, an older lady of over 80, her 18 pieces of luggage and a boxer dog (weighing 4 stone), from Somerset to France to live with a relative. It was agreed that £8 would be donated towards this endeavour. In 2016, the charity made a short film, still available on its website, telling Jean’s story. After her husband passed away, Jean was feeling so low and lonely that she felt that life wasn’t worth living and had contemplated suicide. The charity found her a befriending volunteer, and her life was turned around. She now gets out and about, has met new people and her volunteer visitor gave her friendship and the encouragement she needed to get herself a dog, Sir Digby, the star of the film! Flossie and Jean may be separated by decades, but they share one thing in common. When they were struggling
Age UK Somerset came to their rescue.
It was back in 1948 that the Somerset Older People’s Welfare Committee met for the first time. This was a group of organisations sharing the same aim - to improve life for older people in Somerset. Since then there have been several name changes - to Age Concern Somerset in 1971, to Age UK Somerset in 2010 - but in 70 years the aim remains the same.
Age UK Somerset is an independent local charity (not to be confused with Age UK,
Giving help and advice is an important part of the charity’s work