Anchor are working closely with Age UK Northumberland to help support the creation of a network of older volunteers offering their peers free information, advice and support throughout the county.

The new Silverlinks voluntary network aims to offer people over the age of 50 practical information around their housing and social care needs and the opportunity to talk their situation through with an older volunteer who may have experienced similar challenges.

David Wood, Anchor’s Community Partnership Manager for the North East said: “Across Anchor’s housing properties in the North East we have customers with a wealth of life experiences and skills ideally placed to offer their knowledge and support to others.

“Anchor are pleased to be working closely with Age UK Northumberland to help raise awareness of this new initiative and grow the Silverlinks network.”

The volunteers recruited by Silverlinks are affectionately known as “SLINKIES” and focus on helping their peers make informed decisions about their housing and care needs. 

David continues: “At Anchor we strive to promote relationships between our customers and the communities they live in, and know we have older people who would be only too pleased to offer practical advice and their real life experiences of living in retirement housing to other people trying to make important decisions about their future.

“One of our customers has already helped a person who was worried about moving to sheltered housing feel more confident in their decision by meeting up with them, talking them through their experiences and answering their questions.”

Adrienne Rowley from Age UK Northumberland said: “Volunteers are given ongoing training and support to enable them to both go out into the community, talking to organised groups across the region as a community speaker, and offer practical support with specific tasks such as helping with form filling, letter writing and phone calls.

“We are really pleased to be working with Anchor’s housing schemes across the region and know the support Anchor’s customers will be able to offer other people over 50 will be invaluable.”

Who can be a “Slinkie”?

  • People over the age of 50
  • People with an interest in improving people’s knowledge of housing and social care in later life
  • People already involved with community groups and willing to impart information to others
  • People who may have knowledge or experience of downsizing or adapting their home to suit their needs
  • People who may have moved into sheltered accommodation and adjusted to the smaller spaces
  • People who can spare a few hours a month to help an older person with an application form or an appeal.

If you would like to find out more about becoming a SLINKIE contact your Location Manager or contact Adrienne Rowley adrienne.rowley@ageuk-northumberland.org.uk or telephone on 01670 784846.

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