Community Agents Essex service ready to launch


EXG JUN 14 RCCE - Credit: Archant

RCCE is at the forefront of an exciting new service that aims to make it easier for elderly people to live independently and safely in their own homes.

The new Community Agents Essex service is scheduled to begin initial work in the community in July and become fully operational in October. The service will use a network of specially trained agents and volunteers to reach across the whole county, embracing urban as well as rural areas, helping older people and their carers to identify care needs, access help and develop the confidence to carry on managing their own lives.

Essex County Council will be funding the scheme initially. It will be delivered by a new partnership of voluntary sector organisations led by RCCE, but also comprising the British Red Cross, Age UK Essex and Neighbourhood Watch Essex.

The service, which is expected to support around 6,000 people in Essex each year, aims to help reduce the pressures on health and social care services by offering targeted help and advice on mobility issues, practical living skills, social isolation, caring for someone and personal safety. It is committed to complementing and adding value to services and activities that already exist in local areas.

Community Agents Essex will build upon the success of the Village Agents service that RCCE has run in the districts of Braintree, Chelmsford and Maldon since 2009, again with funding from the county council. In this time, the Village Agents, who will be absorbed into the new service, have made more than 14,000 referrals on behalf of people in need in rural communities.

The thinking behind the new service is also in line with key recommendations in the Who Will Care Commission report, produced by Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett for Essex County Council last year.

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