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Close to Hand is a new service to connect older people looking for a helping hand with local people ready to help. The first phase of the website was launched in November last year to register Home Helpers and after an overwhelmingly positive response, we’ve now opened the service to people looking to arrange help and companionship for themselves or a loved one.
We’ve focused our attention on Kent so far and the majority of our Home Helpers are registered in Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks, but already we’ve had enquiries from all over the UK. We could see a real lack of support services in the community catering for our independent seniors; people who don’t require care but could do with some occasional help and companionship.
Our ambition is to grow the community nationally and internationally to give older people more choice and more support to remain independent and connected to the communities they live in.
What we’ve learned so far
Close to Hand is shining a light on kind people who want to make a difference, every day we’re touched to read the profiles of the Home Helpers signing up to the service. Seeing the idea come to life is exciting; the number of people and the diversity of those people signing up to help restores your faith in human nature. We seem to be tapping into an undercurrent of change, a swell of people wanting to bring back community spirit, just like we do.