LGA Foundation sat down with Simon Luddington, CEO of Search Newcastle to discuss the impact of the charity across the North East and how funding from LGA has aided their offering.
Founded in the 1970’s with just a single worker initially, Search was a local charity, based in the West End of Newcastle. The aim was to provide support to the older community of the West End and it’s offering and reach has grown significantly over the last 50 years.
Aside from the advice line, Search supports the older West End Community through a variety of channels. This includes a ‘home from hospital’ service, which provides support with the transition Home following a hospital stay. They offer a full timetable of activities and support sessions, from Tai Chi, Water Aerobics and Strictly Ballroom to ‘tea & tech’, ‘knit & natter’, memory lunches and mindfulness sessions. All of these sessions are designed to encourage a sense of community, mobility and to aid loneliness.
How we helped
With funding from LGA, Search Newcastle has helped to fund the Search advice line, which offers advice and aid to both people aged 50+ and their carers on a range of topics; Pension Credit, Legal, Dementia, Energy, Attended and Carers Allowance. This advice is offered through drop-ins, a home visiting service, in person appointments and telephone enquiries. So far, the advice line has helped over 3,000 people and LGA Foundation is so pleased to have played a part in it’s conception.
Recently, Search has launched it’s ‘Search@Home’ service, which provides at home support services. This paid for service offers practical support with general housekeeping and assistance with administration can be access through the Search Home Help + service.
Due to the impact of Covid, Search Newcastle has placed huge focus on encouraging the older community to socialise and exercise. Covid ‘worry’ has been and still is a challenge for older individuals, in particular those who live in tower blocks, who are naturally more isolated and less active. Given the immensely broad offering of Search; the advice line, activities, support (both in person and virtually) and at home service, they are a vital charity to the older community and their carers in the West End of Newcastle.