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British Red Cross to launch new support at home services in Leicester and Rutland thanks to grant

14 January 2015

British Red Cross to launch new support at home services in Leicester and Rutland thanks to £350k grant

A new service to support hundreds of vulnerable people at home in Leicester and Rutland will launch at the end of January, thanks to a £350,000 grant from the Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund.


The British Red Cross’ First Call service will offer short term support to people in their own homes while they recover from illness, injury or after a stay in hospital, preventing unnecessary hospital admissions and reducing pressure on local healthcare services.


The service has been selected to receive financial support from the Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund, a £14 million fund to support the growth of innovations that mobilise people's energy and talents to help each other, working alongside public services.


Volunteers will visit people at home for up to 12 weeks to help with practical tasks like preparing meals, light paperwork or shopping as well as offering companionship, helping to build independence and reduce loneliness and isolation.


Justin Prescott, British Red Cross senior service manager for independent living in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire said: “The grant means we expand this unique and vital service, which is already helping thousands across Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, to cover Leicester and Rutland.


“A visit or phone call from a friendly volunteer and some support at home can make a huge difference to someone while they recover from an illness or after a stay in hospital, particularly if they live alone,” Justin adds.


“It will help people get home from hospital sooner, safe in the knowledge that they won’t have to cope alone in the first few weeks. It could also help people avoid a trip to hospital in the first place or prevent unnecessary readmission, reducing pressure on vital healthcare services and A&E departments.”


The service is free and available to anyone, but will be aimed at older people who need some low level support at home to keep living independently.

The Red Cross are urgently seeking volunteers to help run the service, and are holding an open day on Tuesday 20 January at Oakham Fire Station between 10am-4pm, where you can find out how to get involved.

If you know someone who could benefit from First Call or are interested in volunteering, call Justin Prescott on call 0345 054 7171 or email




Notes to editors


The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies
in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on
with their lives.

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