You meet some interesting organisations on Twitter and recently I came across the National Benevolent Fund for the Ageing which for some 55 years has been supporting older people on low incomes. Here one of their volunteers, Rob, explains more about what they do.
Now in its 55th year, the National Benevolent Fund for the Aged (NBFA) provides practical support to older people on low incomes who feel isolated and marginalised.
Each year the NBFA organises free 5-day ‘Breaks-Away’ for about 1,000 older people who have not been on holiday for at least 3 years and who cannot afford to arrange a holiday for themselves. Each Break-Away consists of one or two coaches of older people accompanied by NFBA staff and volunteers. The many social activities provide the holiday-makers with an opportunity to make new friends and to try something new. Each week usually includes 2 or 3 outings to local beauty spots or places of interest, and every evening there is an entertainer after dinner. Thursday nights are reserved for the ever-popular fancy-dress competition and a raffle.
NBFA has recently started providing NBFA Day-Trips for older people who are potentially put-off by the length of the Breaks-Away, and an NBFA Reunion Programme to bring together participants from previous events. A participant commented: ‘Loneliness, there’s a lot of loneliness and depression and nobody helps; but on trips like this, people do help and they try to talk to each other and make friends’
NBFA helps to enhance independence and reduce the sense of vulnerability of frail older people by offering Emergency Telephone Alarms. Emergency Alarms give older people the confidence to stay in their own homes for longer and to lead more active lives without being worried if someone will come to help them if needed.
NBFA also works though Physiotherapists and GPs to provide easy to use, reliable, electrical pain relief machines free of charge to older people who would benefit.
Breaks –Away planned for Autumn 2012 include a holiday village in Bracklesham Bay in Sussex, for participants from London, and one to Bridlington, on the Yorkshire coast, for participants from the Leeds and Bradford area. Further Breaks-Away and day-trips for Spring 2013 are being planned.
If you think that you know an older person, or an agency working in this field, who might want to work with NBFA or who might benefit from one of their services, please contact the NBFA on 0207 828 0200 or look at their website at www.nbfa.org.uk