WiSE celebrates helping thousands of older people in stellar year

Wetherby in Support of the Elderly is celebrating a stellar year, in which it had almost 12,000 interactions with older people across the district.

WiSE has worked hard to restored key services as the Covid-19 risk has reduced, including much needed social support for those more isolated.

At least 5,370 people visited the popular WiSE Owl Café, whilst hundreds more attended the charity’s packed activities programme- from chairobics to knitting.

Sixty people had their grass cut each month, 153 people were contacted by a friendly caller or visitor and the charity’s advice service received 687 contacts.

A further 312 transport journeys were made- whereby volunteers drive older people to activities or social engagements they would otherwise have missed.

Mark Dobson, Chief Operating Officer at WiSE, said: “For the charity, the last 12 months has been a year of two halves. The first half saw us continuing to work as a Covid-19 hub for North East Leeds. We also assisted with the vaccination rollout, made wellbeing calls, and conducted telephone befriending sessions.

“The second half of the year saw us restarting our key services in a safe and controlled way, starting with the WiSE Owl Café at Boston Spa Village Hall.

“To have had close to 12,000 contacts with older people in our communities is down to the incredible work of our much loved army of volunteers and small but dedicated team of paid staff.”

In the last year, WiSE has also funded a cookery course for kitchen shy older men, a Christmas Day lunch at Bramham Village Hall and launched its ‘Send a Smile’ postal scheme.

A recent consultation asked local people for their views on its work, after it expanded the range of services offered during the pandemic lockdowns. It was recently presented with a special recognition award by the Leeds City Council and Voluntary Action Leeds in recognition of its efforts during the pandemic.

Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WiSE) is a registered charity organisation part funded by Leeds City Council (LCC).  Its aim is to improve quality of life for the over 60s by providing community based activities, information, help and support.

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