East Ayrshire – The Zone’s Home Buddy Scheme

What was the issue you were addressing or working on?

The Zone Home Buddy Scheme was launched in 2010 and provides a domestic and household service for older, disabled and vulnerable people in the Doon Valley area. The Home Buddy Scheme is an intergenerational project providing a personal and professional service which is individually tailored to assist people to live in their homes and communities for longer without feeling lonely, isolated or afraid.

What you did?

Home Buddies are recruited locally and are matched with possible participants. They visit each participant once or twice per week for up to two hours, depending on circumstances and need. One the days a Home Buddy does not visit, they phone to make sure the participant is well. The Home Buddy service provides a wide and varied range of support and help, including:

  • Accompanying people to and from shopping trips or assisting with shopping
  • Escorting participants to social events, clubs, or appointments
  • Help with letters and bills
  • Companionship and socialising
  • Household tasks such as changing beds, curtains, vacuuming, window cleaning, washing ironing or making light meals
  • Any other household duties to assist participants feel less anxious and more comfortable
  • Referrals for the service come from a range of sources, including family, friends, GP, Community nurse, social work, personal care staff or self.

What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?

The Home Buddy Scheme is a development from the Zone’s Garden Buddy Scheme which has been in existence for some time. The Zone identified a gap as many of the older people who received support with their gardens, regularly asked about household and domestic assistance.

It was also evident that many older people were very isolated and lonely and often their ‘garden visit’ was the only regular contact they had with the wider community and often very importantly, the only contact they had with younger people.

Key outcomes for the Home Buddy Scheme are to:

  • Support older people’s choice to continue to live at home and feel safe
  • Support older people enjoy their own independence and maintain existing skills
  • Provide companionship and encouragement to re/engage in local activity

Contacts - to find out more

Elaine Stewart , Elaine.stewart@thezone-online.co.uk