As part of Progress Housing Group's Here to Help service, the Group and its telecare service, Progress Lifeline, has been making proactive welfare calls to tenants and service users to offer additional support including signposting, urgent referrals or a kind and empathetic listening ear.

Progress Lifeline has provided us with a taste of their calls and the positive and heartwarming outcomes and results for their service users...

The round-the-clock Progress Lifeline Team carefully listen to, and signpost, their service users who need access to vital services such as support workers, local support groups, and medicine and food delivery services or simply need someone to ask a family member to get in touch.

Each call ends with a reassuring message and a reminder that they can press their Progress Lifeline personal alarm for help at the touch of a button, day or night.

These are some of the amazing outcomes from our welfare calls:

• A lady who is completely on her own and very vulnerable was really upset because she was unable to get fresh food delivered to her door. She has osteoporosis and had a mini stroke three weeks prior. She’d called Morrison’s for a fruit and veg shop but they were only taking large orders. She got quite upset because she could not source any fruit and vegetables. Our welfare caller, with permission, got in touch with several organisations on her behalf. Age UK was able to help and is now delivering fresh food to her home and will monitor her throughout the crisis. She was delighted.

• A very concerned daughter was worried about her mum and dad’s feet. They needed attention, and it was causing her mum and dad distress. Our welfare caller contacted a qualified chiropodist who attends emergency appointments following strict PPE guidelines. With permission, contact details were exchanged and an appointment was made.

• A distressed lady who was very depressed about the impact of COVID-19 was in tears. She had fallen in the garden three weeks prior and her leg was swollen and badly bruised. She had nurses going in daily but she was concerned it was not healing the way it should. Our welfare caller stayed on the call with her and provided a much-needed listening ear. With permission, an appointment with a support worker was arranged as well as a request for Age UK to assist with her shopping. She asked if she could have another call.

• A vulnerable lady with gluten free/wheat intolerance was unable to source the right food. Our welfare caller, with permission, contacted Age UK and explained this to them. Age UK agreed to deliver food on a regular basis. She was extremely pleased with the arrangement. A lady who is bed-bound really appreciated our welfare call. At the end of the call she started to cry. Our service user said that they were happy tears; she couldn’t believe how kind our welfare caller had been, and that it had brightened up her day having a chat. She also said she was looking forward to the chat next week!

• A gentleman who we called said that he felt so much better being able to get everything off his chest. One of the things he really needed help with was his bins. He got really sad when he said that he’d watched people on TV helping their vulnerable neighbours and told us that not one of his neighbours have been round to ask if they could help him with anything. Our welfare caller, with permission, contacted his local council to assist with taking his bins in and out.

• Another call we made was to a lady whose eyesight is getting progressively worse, to the point that when she makes a cup of tea, she is scalding herself. Our welfare-caller remembered a ‘Liquid Level Indicator’ that Galloway’s Society for the Blind had showcased at a meeting they attended. With permission, an urgent visit via their ‘Low Vision’ scheme was made.She was extremely grateful.

The Progress Lifeline Team is so pleased to be able to support our service users by getting the help they need in these unusual times and want to thank the local organisations and public services such as Age UK, Galloway’s and local councils for the extra support and joined-up working they've provided.

The welfare calls are being made as part of Progress Housing Group’s Here to Help service, launched by the housing group at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown to ensure that their most in-need tenants and service users, including those who may be digitally-excluded, are receiving the help and support they need during the coronavirus pandemic.
If you think Here to Help could help you, find out more at /coronavirus-information-for-customers/here-to-help/