Dartmouth Caring is a local charity that is there to help those in need, the elderly and the vulnerable within Dartmouth and surrounding villages.
Our aim is to enable people to live happy and vibrant lives, connecting those who are isolated and improving health and well-being within our community. We do this by offering a range of different services and activities for those individuals to partake in if they wish to.
In 2015 – 2016 Dartmouth Caring Provided:
Just under 18,000 occurrences of support
2,400 Home Visits to vulnerable adults
5,218 follow up contacts to vulnerable adults
30,578 miles of subsidised volunteer driver transport
At least 10,100 hours of volunteer time (approx 194 hours a week)
541 financial or benefit assistance cases
Some Case Studies
CASE STUDY 1
CS 1 is a lady in her late 60’s, living alone. As a teenager she was involved in a serious car accident which left her with both physical and cognitive difficulties. Following her Mother’s death CS 1 became increasingly vulnerable and concerns were raised by several members of the local community regarding her ability to care for herself. She had been the victim of multiple scams and cold calls and had lost significant sums of money. She was also becoming increasingly unkempt in appearance and friends were worried she was not eating properly.
Since 2012 we have been visiting regularly and assisting her to manage her financial affairs, we have worked closely with the local branch of her bank to ensure her financial security. By visiting regularly we have been able to establish a trusting relationship with our client. During a visit we will go through recent post and weed out junk mail and potential scams, it is usual to find at least one insurance policy or other product which she will have agreed to since our last visit. With CS 1’s consent we will cancel products and where necessary obtain refunds. Also with the help of her bank we have prevented the loss of thousands of pounds from her private fund. She is very vulnerable and suggestible and will agree to anything that is offered to her by unscrupulous companies and individuals and whom she is now targeted by.
Recently we have helped her to change her phone number and installed a phone which is able to block unwanted calls. We continue to visit on a regular basis and help her to manage her finances. By working with local people, shops and café’s we have a small network of people who look out for her and will report concerns to us. CS 1 is very keen to maintain her independence in her own home and we continue our efforts to get her to accept help with cleaning and personal care.
CASE STUDY 2
CS 2 first became known to the charity in some years ago when he attended one of our groups. He was living with his brother in sheltered accommodation in Dartmouth and working. He attended our monthly meetings and often stayed for lunch afterwards. His brothers health was deteriorating (he had Lewy Body dementia) and in 2013 we helped CS 2 complete an application for carers allowance. His work was severely limited due to the time that he needed to spend looking after his brother whose physical and mental health problems worsened over the next few months and we got carers brought in as CS 2 struggled to cope.
The brother was admitted several times to hospital but always wanted to come home to CS 2 which he did with carers in place. Social Services were then closely involved with us to help them. At the beginning of 2014, the brother was admitted to a nursing home in Plymouth as a permanent placement, it was apparent at this stage that CS 2 could not manage the brothers care needs. CS 2 was now seriously ill himself and no longer able to work. We applied for ESA for him.
In 2014, CS 2 informed us that he was being pursued by HMRC for non-payment of tax (going back to 2013) from when he was self employed. He hadn’t paid the tax and incurred several charges on top of the original bill. He was struggling at this time with caring for his brother and did not respond appropriately. Dartmouth Caring looked at the paperwork and wrote to HMRC on his’s behalf to waive the surcharges, this they did and we got all of his affairs in order with the result of a minimum tax bill. HMRC were then fully informed that he was no longer working and his account with them was closed.
CS 2 residency at his flat was in question at this stage as his brother was no longer living there (bedroom tax) – social services requested that we help him complete a housing application. We also referred him to solicitors to apply for power of attorney for his brother – he later died in the nursing home in March 2015.
In Feb 2015, CS 2’s ESA was stopped due to reasons of income – as a volunteer church organist but who was reimbursed for incurred mileage. Emails went back and forth between DC and DWP whilst we tried to sort this out for him – eventually sorted at the beginning of May. He is now enjoying a more relaxed life and involves himself in community and the church. He still comes to us if and when he needs but life in the latter year has improved significantly.
CASE STUDY 3
Dartmouth Caring began visiting this elderly lady on a fortnightly basis in 2014. She is house bound and has no family in the area. Despite being in her 90’s she is a lively conversationalist and we both look forward to these visits, you never know what topics we will discuss.
Dartmouth Caring have also provided transport to medical appointments, helped her to contact her landlord regarding repairs. We also referred and arranged for a home fire safety check with the fire service. During the visits we have also helped CS 3 with small household jobs which she cannot manage due to poor mobility. We have organised some equipment and aids to help her at home.
Our visits have increased to weekly to ensure she is ok and not isolated and include doing and delivering shopping for her. She will call us with any concerns or requests in-between. We are her local support and help her remain at home and independent but not alone.
CASE STUDY 4
A disabled lady in her 50’s with long standing mental health problems. She also suffers with chronic back pain, which has recently been diagnosed as a psycho-somatic disorder caused and exacerbated by past trauma, stress and anxiety. She often tries to do things herself but then needs help to sort it out.
Dartmouth Caring have provided support to her in various ways over the last 3 – 4 years. We assisted with re-housing, enabling CS 4 to move to accommodation with a small garden which has proved beneficial for both her and her pets who she relies on for company and comfort. She received an assessment appointment with ATOS, to which she went off her own back without understanding what it meant, and was placed in the ‘Work Related Activity Group’ for ESA. We successfully had this decision reconsidered and she is now in the support group which is appropriate for her needs.
CS 4 is not able to manage her finances and becomes anxious and confused when confronted with anything officious, we have helped on a number of occasions when she has required assistance to pay bills, sort out small debt problems and provide regular reassurance that welfare and benefits payments are being paid correctly. Dartmouth Caring will continue to support CS 4 to manage her personal affairs, we have recently gained client consent to visit fortnightly to try and keep on top of everything with her. We have also introduced her to another charitable group that helps old horses as she loves horses. She is much more content and stable and still has us