Shopper-Aide Ltd was established in Campbeltown, Kintyre, Argyll & Bute in April 2011 in response to the issue of social isolation, to provide services and support for older people with volunteers.
Big Lottery Grant funding was secured in 2014, which has assisted the growth and development of the activities.
Funding has enabled Shopper-Aide to develop and grow services for older people, based on the ‘Food Train’ model, which enables a team of volunteers to shop for and deliver food shopping items for older people.
Apart from Shopping clients and extra help, over the past 18 months our services have been further expanded to include social activities for older people, with an Old Pals group for men in Clachan and Southend with 2 Elderberries group sessions in Campbeltown supported by sessional staff.
There is also Garry’s Gang for men going out on a weekly basis.
To provide extra help we also offer socialising support for older people, this includes home visits where clients are no longer able to get out and respite for carers.
Housekeeping is a new project where there is a need for extra support in the home due to ill health. This is an hourly rated service.
Transport is provided to assist older people with mobility issues or limited confidence to get to and from social activities, recognising accessibility is a contributing factor in addressing social isolation.
We also take and escort clients to a variety of medical appointments, bank and Post Office, lawyer and other places where they need an escort.
Prescription collection is for clients where they get a regular prescription and/or the amount of prescription is too much to carry.
Shopper-Aide have supported 250+ clients, aged from 62 – 103 who require services and support due to physical frailty, mental health problems, loneliness and caring duties.
Referrals’ for services come direct from older people or their families, from the Integrated care team, acute ward and the Community Psychiatric Nursing Team as well as other agencies e.g. Carers, Advocacy and Enable.
Among our volunteers the age range is 16 – 80+ and include young people from the local schools Learning Support, employability, a variety of physical and mental health conditions as well as those looking to improve their CV’s for work and for those who want to help in their community.
We have developed a policy of employing former volunteers which has proved successful.
With a growing and very loyal customer base and dedicated team of staff and volunteers, Shopper-aide now need to ensure long term sustainability of services which have funding support from Big Lottery until 2019 and a variety of funded projects. Using a social enterprise approach, Shopper-Aide has been increasing the level of income generated from services and shop sales, as well as donations from the amazingly generous people of Kintyre and from further afield, fundraising and grant funding.