No two Community Companions services are identical but the intention is broadly similar in every case. Namely, to offer the practical help that can make all the difference - whether it's collecting the post or a repeat prescription, walking the dog or changing a light bulb.
Often family members might live too far away to visit regularly so Royal Voluntary Service Community Companions provide valuable company and friendship as well as making sure the person they visit is safe and well.
Community Companions will spend perhaps an hour a week either in person or over the phone in their company. Sometimes classes - from IT to tea dances to Tai Chi or other social activities - are run as part of the scheme.
It's our way of helping people stay independent whilst providing friendly, social contact and making sure they're safe and well. Community Companions help counter social isolation and the service can act as a pre-emptive step to keep those who are vulnerable out of hospital.
Working with local GPs, Royal Voluntary Service will identify those people in the local community who are most risk of ending up in hospital within the next year. By acting first, these services can alleviate the strain on local services.