THE MAYOR of Southampton, Councillor Peter Baillie, cut a ceremonial ribbon and officially launched the neighbourhood charity Communicare’s new satellite office at Lord’s Hill Church in Lordshill yesterday (October 16, 2019).
Communicare, which aims to improve the lives of lonely and isolated people in Southampton, with assistance from its Communiteers, is one of the Mayor’s chosen charities for the mayoral year.
Cllr Baillie explained: “I was delighted to be able to be part of this launch event and to cut the ceremonial ribbon to declare the new satellite office at Lord’s Hill Church open. I selected Communicare as one of my charities for the year as I very much understand and value the work the charity does in Southampton. Communicare wants to eradicate loneliness and isolation in the city with the assistance of its band of Communiteers, who give their time freely. The charity is keen to expand its presence in the Lordshill area and would love to have a growing volunteer base on the far West of the city to help meet the needs in that area. The services they offer are run by the charity and staffed by its committed, kind-hearted, Communiteers, who generously provide their practical and emotional support on a very local level, so I urge anyone in the area, who might be able to give any amount of time to assist their neighbours, to get in touch, as just an hour a week is invaluable.”
The new satellite office at Lord’s Hill Church was launched on Wednesday, October 16 at 10.30am.
Reverend Chris Knights, vicar of Lord’s Hill Church, said: “Communicare and Lord’s Hill Church have been increasingly working together over recent months, seeking to serve the communities and residents in this part of the city. I am delighted that we have been able to move to this next stage and am looking forward to Communicare extending their work still further through their new office here in Lord’s Hill Church.”
Now every Wednesday morning, Coordinator, Faith Kenny from the Communicare team will be based at Lord’s Hill Church between 10.30am and 12.30pm, ready to answer any volunteer or client related queries. Faith said: “We’re looking forward to being located in the heart of the community in Lordshill and would love to increase our volunteer base in the area. Lordshill has a very high proportion of older residents, due to the amount of sheltered accommodation in the area, so we need Communiteers to assist us with the work we do in the area to cover the demand for our services that we already have. We are very grateful to Lord’s Hill Church for allowing us to join them in their building – in fact, our satellite office will be running alongside the church’s coffee morning drop in on Wednesday mornings. We have partnered with Lord’s Hill Church to hold some tea parties over the past year or so and are very happy to be building on that relationship.”
Communicare’s Good Neighbours’ Network supports nearly 397 individuals/families annually in Southampton, covering more than 2,357 different tasks such as one-to-one befriending and transport to activities. All the assistance offered is free to users, although beneficiaries are invited to make a donation if they are able to, and Communiteers are offered expenses.
Faith continued: “Our services are run by us and staffed by our committed, kind-hearted, Communiteers, who generously provide their practical and emotional support on a very local level. We always need more Communiteers to help with our lunch clubs and tea parties and the all the other services we provide. We appreciate everyone is busy, but we find even the busiest person has a few minutes each day to drop in and see a neighbour when they are passing. You might also be able to tag on to your own shopping trip getting a few items for a neighbour too. We’re not asking for complicated, overly time-consuming tasks, just simple ones that can be incorporated into your daily routine as needed.”
Communiteers are offered simple and basic training on topics such as safeguarding, manual handling and developing listening skills should they wish to take it up. They can choose their level of involvement and the types of activities they wish to engage in too.
To find out more about our new satellite office at Lord’s Hill Church in Lordshill or how to volunteer, please call 023 8021 6016, visit our volunteering page or follow us on Twitter at @Communicare_SO or log on to www.facebook.com/CommunicareInSouthampton.