The aim of DDS4OP is to provide support for the health, safety, wellbeing and community involvement of older people residing in Drogheda and surrounding areas.
The six main activities are:
- Good Morning Drogheda” – a free morning phone call to older people living on their own to check that they are safe and well.
- The “Care and Repair Team” – mostly retired handymen or tradesmen assist in giving a minimum cost service to older people doing small maintenance jobs and repairs in their homes and gardens.
- Computer Classes – volunteer tutors assist older people on a one-to-one, one afternoon a week, to get them up and running with e-mail, exploring the internet, Skype etc.
- Fáilte Isteach – a fun way of teaching conversational English to new immigrants two evenings a week, using older people as the teachers.
- Befriending Drogheda – matches older people with a suitable volunteer who will visit them at home on a regular basis.
- Support – The Parlour an office where older people can go to find out about their rights and entitlements, and be given information and advice on grants and anything else they may be having problems with, as well as filling in forms and making phone calls on their behalf.
- Strong Volunteer Ethos
- Community Leadership
- Local Authority Community Animation
- Finance—HSE and local authority grants and fund raising
- Interagency cooperation
- Recognition by state agencies of the need to do this work and acknowledgement that the group has the capacity to do it.
Evidence of success
Drogheda and District Support 4 Older People have won 2 Public Participation Network awards, one for the Care and Repair programme and one for the Befriending Programme. Louth County nominated DDS4OP as a candidate for the national Pride of Place award in the 2019 competitions. (Awaiting results in Nov 2019). There is one job created
Earning recognition from state agencies of the challenges older people experience and recognising the need to support a community group to carry out this work where state agencies have not got the reach to do so.
Potential for learning or transfer
Ireland has 31 local authorities which are all signed up to the Age Friendly County Programme committing each local authority to set up an Alliance and an Older People’s Forum/Council. Each local authority has an Age Friendly Coordinator who can animate a group to deliver a demand-responsive programme based on the identified need of the community. The coordinator can network the group with the state agencies and provide high visibility when needed to demonstrate the capacity of the group to deliver. This leaves every county in a position to replicate this model under the umbrella of Age Friendly Ireland a shared local government service and a partner in the Ireland LAG. The DDS4OP model has been presented to several visiting groups from all over the world over the past 7 years.
Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.