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Help for people who feel they are alone

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CHESHIRE Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) has teamed up with British Red Cross and The Silver Line, a charity which supports older people, to help anyone who might be feeling alone.
The award-winning Safe and Well initiative is carried out by firefighters and CFRS advocates who will, as part of the visit, ask people if they need any further support in relation to their friendships and social networks.
If so British Red Cross will get in touch and offer either their own services, which include an up to six week home visiting service, or a telephone befriending service from The Silver Line.
It is hoped that these services will provide members of the community with the additional support they need to help with feeling alone.
CFRS head of prevention Nick Evans said: “Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is extremely keen to support members of the community in regards to their wellbeing and preventing them from being at risk of a fire in their home.
“People over the age of 65 can receive far more than the traditional fire safety and smoke alarm advice as part of our Safe and Well visits which are designed to support people to look after themselves and stay safe and well in their homes.
“Firefighters and specialist advocates have received additional training to provide advice on slips, trips and falls, winter warmth safety, atrial fibrillation screenings, offer support to those who wish to stop smoking or reduce their alcohol consumption, and now also offer support to anyone who may be feeling alone.
“The Service is committed to preventing fires across the county with more than 8,000 people having benefited from a Safe and Well visit over the past three months – more than two per cent of those visits resulting in referrals to the appropriate health agencies.”
Ian Williamson-Owens, volunteer manager for The Silver Line said: “It is a very sensible approach to bring together different services in the spirit of collaboration to deliver a range of positive outcomes for older people.
“One of the biggest challenges about providing support for older people who may be feeling alone, is that often the people who need the help most can be difficult to identify as they are behind closed doors. “
Alison Deighton, independent living service manager for the British Red Cross in Cheshire, said: “Loneliness and social isolation don’t discriminate. Life circumstances can change in the blink of an eye, meaning they can affect anyone regardless of their age or background.”
Safe and Well visits will be offered to residents who are aged over 65 or who are referred to the Service by partner agencies. Anyone under the age of 65 can use the online home safety check which gives a personalised fire safety plan with advice on how to prevent fires in the home.
For more information visit: https://www.cheshirefire.gov.uk/home/safe-and-well-visits

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