Getting advice and support if you don’t live near a town centre is not always easy.
Age Concern Hampshire’s Village Agent Service was set up in 2011 and is delivered by over 50 highly-trained volunteer Village Agents across Hampshire, supported by Age Concern's accredited Information and Advice team in Winchester. Their primary role is to support older people to live full and independent lives in their own homes for as long as possible.
The scheme supports older people in rural areas, assisting them to access information and the support services they need. As an active member of their local community a Village Agent directs people to the information about such things as day care, foot care, computer training, transport for shopping and medical appointments, finding reputable tradespeople and help around the home. Last year we dealt with nearly 2000 enquiries across the county.
Village Agents operate in a variety of ways, from supporting individuals in their own homes, to running drop in advice clinics at local community venues, to organising social and well-being activities that encourage people to remain active and avoid loneliness and isolation.
Village Agents often work with their local parish councils and GP surgeries, attending parish meetings and becoming members of Patient Participation Groups (PPG's). Building networks and connections enables agents to connect agencies with people they find hard to reach and helps communities to use their resources effectively.
There is no typical Village Agent; our volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a wealth of life experience with them. What connects them is a desire to actively support those in need in their local community. Their work, although often intangible, can make an enormous difference to those they support, maximising the period in which they can live independently in their own homes.
To understand how Village Agents support their communities please take a look at the following case studies:
To get in touch with the Village Agent team call 01962 892443, or use the map below to find out if there is a Village Agent in your area.
Becoming a Village Agent?
If you are interested in volunteering to become a Village Agent click here to visit our volunteering page.
Funding the Village Agent Service
Village Agents have, since 2011, been funded by grants from Hampshire County Council, but the service now relies on funds raised directly by Age Concern Hampshire.
We are running a Village Agent Fundraising Campaign to support the service. We would love for you to get involved as a supporter or by making a donation. If you would like to join in the fundraising activities please do set up a Just Giving page and help us to reach our income target. Our chair Tony Hopkins is currently undertaking a mammoth 1200 mile bike ride from Hampshire to Nice to raise funds for this campaign.
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To find out more about how a Village Agent can help you or for more information about becoming a volunteer, contact Age Concern Hampshire on Freephone 0800 328 7154.