January 19, 2024

“We are only a phone call away.”

Amongst the merriment of the festive season, Dorah May Hancock and Marie Thackwell from local charity Age Concern Epsom & Ewell know too well how this time of year can be challenging for many…

Dorah May: Winter can be a daunting time but we hope our services reassure the older generation that we are here for them. We are only a phone call away. Whether it’s medical transport for flu jabs and Covid injections to our Men’s Club & Sunday Teas– we are in the community and we care.

Marie: As we’re not public facing there’s a constant challenge to connect with the wider community but our aim is to reach every corner of the borough and spread the word about our services. We’re a small charity, predominantly self-supporting, therefore it’s through fundraising events, via the support of volunteers, local businesses and the public that we can serve our older community. 

Dorah May: And it really does make a huge difference to their lives. As Chief Officer, I lead a fantastic team of eight part-time staff, all totally dedicated to their roles and I am so proud of our 140+ volunteers. Among them we have 48 volunteer befrienders visiting the lonely and isolated for a chat once a week or maybe a game of cards or doing a crossword together.  

Marie: Coming up we have a popular fundraiser, our annual Candlelit Christmas Concert at the beautiful Christ Church, Epsom (8th December, 7pm). It’s for all ages to enjoy with music from solo singers, local bands, Laine Theatre Arts and the Heart & Soul choir. There’s mince pies and treats beforehand and it never fails to get you into the festive spirit. All proceeds go to supporting our services and towards helping our older community to feel less alone. 

Dorah May: Engaging with the older generation and supporting them to live the most fulfilling lives that they can is incredibly humbling and rewarding. The impact we have motivates us all to rise to any of the challenges.

Marie: As Fundraising and Marketing Coordinator, I had a yearning to both work in the borough that I lived in that had an impactful role for the greater good. The happiness that some of our creative projects bring to our clients, the joy when the public see our fundraising stall, like our Christmas knitting campaign, it’s really touching. We know it gives many (clients, volunteers and members of the public) a real sense of purpose.

Dorah May: Our services are of course not just for Christmas and include information and advice, home visits, supporting Blue Badge and Attendance Allowance applications, a medical transport scheme, befriending, Men’s Club & Sunday Teas, IT & DIY support. If we’re unable to help, we signpost to appropriate services who have the skills to support whatever is required.

Marie: We’re open every morning from 9.30 to 1pm. We are always at the end of a phone or email or visitors are welcome to the Old Town Hall in The Parade, Epsom.

Dorah May: We also have lots of volunteering opportunities; supporting our team, befriending, driving – there are many ways people can get involved.

Marie: As our older population increases so does the demand for our services – this is something that is only going to get bigger – and so we have a growing need for ongoing support.

For more info visit ageconcernepsom.org.uk
Age Concern Epsom & Ewell
The Old Town Hall, The Parade, Epsom

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