CHRISTMAS and New Year can be a difficult time for the vulnerable and elderly in our community.
But organisations have clubbed together to provide a much needed boost to those who most need it.
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and Fareham and Gosport Basics Food Bank are making sure pensioners have access to all the things they need to live a decent life after being discharged from hospital.
The trust’s Enhanced Recovery Support at Home Team link up with patients to create ‘support packages’, that help them return home as soon as possible.
The team then helps them get back into their normal routines and keep up their independence so they are less likely to need care back in hospital.
‘Grab bags’ – which include food, drink and washing essentials like soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste – are then bundled together through the help of Fareham and Gosport Basics Food Bank.
Southern Health community matron Angela Wilson said making a ‘massive difference’ to people’s lives was the driving force behind the scheme.
She said: ‘Time after time, our staff see our frail, vulnerable older patients who are socially isolated, getting discharged from hospital and return home with no food or basics available to them.
‘These grab bags will ensure patients have a good stock of food and essentials waiting for them when they return home, which will make a massive difference to their lives.’
Phil Rutt, chairman of trustees for Friends of the Homeless in Fareham and Gosport, the trust which runs the Basics Bank, said: ‘It’s great to be able to support this initiative, and we are delighted to be involved in helping these elderly people in their time of need.
‘It’s a heart-warming feeling to support vulnerable people in our community and we are grateful for this opportunity.’
In the past 12 months, the Basics Banks has provided more than 1,630 food parcels, feeding the equivalent of more than 3,200 people.
Each parcel provides food for a week for people in crisis.
Many parcels also include items such as toiletries and nappies, and there is also a stock of clothing, sleeping bags and blankets. To make a donation, email firstname.lastname@example.org