The Herefordshire Red Cross village wardens are embedded in their local communities, offering a range of practical and emotional support services for vulnerable people, helping them remain independent in their own homes.
The village wardens, together with local volunteers, work alongside those receiving the support to provide any or all of the following; practical help in the home; support to manage finances; transport and escort to medical appointments and social occasions; advice, information and signposting to other organisations that can help.
Each year the service helps around 500 people.
When the village wardens first started helping Mary she was struggling to pay for the upkeep of her beloved garden and concerned about the cost of her electricity. Mary’s village warden met her at her home and undertook an assessment which highlighted a very large monthly direct debit for her electricity, which didn’t tally with her meter readings. The village warden called the utility provider which reduced her monthly payment by £90 a month and gave her a refund of over £2,400. The direct debit had originally been set up by Mary’s late husband and she felt reluctant to change it because it was an arrangement he had put in place.
The support is flexible and other people have benefited from their village wardens arranging for mobility aids to be installed at home, for carers to visit a few times a week or for meals to be delivered to give them a break from cooking.
The service also provides a degree of respite to carers, reducing anxiety for both them and the family member they support.
Wendy Chambers is the village warden for Bromyard and Ledbury, in Herefordshire. To get in touch with Wendy for a friendly chat, please call: 01568 797108.
The Red Cross village wardens are supported by a team of dedicated volunteers and more are needed to provide support to vulnerable people in Herefordshire communities. Volunteers can give as much or as little time as they wish. The role is rewarding and flexible so it can be fit in with work or other commitments. If you would like to find out more, please contact Wendy on 01568 797108
Image above by Layton Thompson/BRC