Hathersage service needs votes for £6,000 national award

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CARELINE – the Hathersage-based voluntary service that gives a daily lifeline to elderly and vulnerable people living in their own homes – is in the running for a £6,000 boost from the NatWest CommunityForce Initiative.

Launched in 2004, Careline is run by 23 trained volunteers who work on a rota basis to ring 17 service users every day throughout the year.

As a totally voluntary group, Careline relies on donations and fundraising events.

Volunteer Pam Cripps, Coordinator of Careline, explained that a NatWest CommunityForce award could make a big difference to the service.

Pam said: “Our major costs are the telephone calls which at the moment are about £800 a year.

“We hope to extend our service which means more calls and, with costs rising all the time, it would be very a relief to know we could carry on the scheme as more people need to join us.

“Also, at the moment we operate rent free from an office in the local methodist church which may not always be available for us to use.”

The NatWest CommunityForce is a new initiative which works with local communities to support the people, projects and charities making a real difference where they live.

More than 600 projects benefited form the Community Awards last year and Careline is hoping to be one of the 2011 successes.

Pam added: “Careline is so important to Hathersage; a neighboring village is about to launch the service too and we have been able to fully support it.

“A daily telephone call to vulnerable or elderly people gives them the opportunity of having a friendly chat with someone every day with a variety of volunteer callers to give them another link to village life.

“It also gives great peace of mind for our service users’ families to know that someone local will be calling their loved ones every day come rain or shine.

“The service is non denominational, inclusive and welcomes all who will benefit from a call.”

NatWest CommunityForce awards will be given to the projects that get the most votes between September 26 to October 23 – please visit www.natwest.com/communityforce and follow the links. Careline is in the category for elderly and disabled people.