Keep Active’s volunteers at Bishop Creighton House, funded by Hammersmith & Fulham, provide intense, short-term support of between nine and twelve weeks to enable people to regain physical mobility following a fall, or illness. The service helps older people who have been discharged from hospital, in partnership with Central London Community Healthcare, Hospital and Community Rehabilitation Services and Community Independence Services. Many older patients, perhaps without friends or family nearby to encourage them, give up regular exercise after discharge, or need rehabilitation staff to continue visiting them for long periods of time. The Keep Active trained volunteers meet this need in the critical period after the intervention of health professionals has ended. Every year 33% of the over 60s have a fall, with the percentage increasing to 50% of those over 80.
30 September 2023
Annual funding level
In the past year
The service continued wherever possible, but had to reduce due to lockdown measures. Volunteers work with clients to identify what they would like to do to engage with their local community. Volunteer support can be flexible but is usually a weekly visit for a period of up to 9 weeks. Examples of ongoing support would be: walking to the shops, using a walking aid, practising indoor exercises, practising going up and down stairs, help with using public transport. Due to the pandemic, this has been largely walking outdoors.
The service has been offering offered outdoor walking since August 2020, as phone call exercises are not working well. Some volunteers continue to see clients after nine weeks and help with shopping and provide phone call befriending. Most targets have been met on a lower level but still have a good impact on the service users.
Number of residents supported
Use of volunteers
30 volunteers delivered 1,600 hours of work supporting 20 residents. This is the equivalent to £17,360, if the London Living Wage is applied to the volunteering hours.
Outcomes being achieved
By the end of the Keep Active support approximately 40% service users are linked up to other BCH projects for further help, such as long-term befriending through Homeline where isolation or loneliness is identified, or referred to Safer Homes for home safety checks or a handyman visit.
80% of Keep Active users report they felt healthier and more confident with the mobility goal set following Keep Active volunteer support.
80% of clients see an increase in their mobility score.
Over 50% report an improvement in how isolated they feel and how connected to the local community they feel.
75% of patients discharged from Keep Active will not have fallen again within a three month period.
Most of the ‘coronavirus-specific’ funding brought in has been diverted to Homeline befriending activities, which are relevant to Keep Active clients and meet their needs during lockdown.
Lockdown and NHS pressures have resulted in a reduction of referrals from GP’s, this has been seen to have negative health effects on older people – mental and physical.
With lockdown easing in April/May 2021, the service uptake should return to 2019 levels.