About the Project

Reach Out supports older people who have recently been discharged from hospital, providing companionship and practical support through local volunteers. The purpose of the support is to help people to maintain a healthy recovery, to preserve wellbeing and to reduce loneliness and social isolation.

The project works closely with hospital discharge teams and the HertsHelp Hospital and Community Navigation Service who refer clients to the project. All clients are visited by a member of the team at Reach Out to ensure that an appropriate match can be arranged that works for both the client and the volunteer.

Volunteers will support those having been discharged from hospital to maintain a healthy recovery and preserve wellbeing. Reach Out uses Ami software, developed by Oxford Computer Consultants , as a signposting platform for volunteers.

Background

Following the introduction of their new assessment model (Connecting Lives in March 2018), Herts County Council commissioned a survey in May 2018 on loneliness for both lonely residents and carers of lonely residents to complete. The purpose of the survey was to explore how technology could be used to help tackle social isolation and loneliness. .

One of the results of this survey found that over 21,000 people aged 65+ are believed to be at risk of loneliness in Hertfordshire (Connecting Lives Conference 2018). As a result of this, along with the massive success of the Campaign to End Loneliness, the Reach Out project was born. It's primary objective is to tackle loneliness and help to reduce hospital re-admissions by supporting those coming out of hospital to regain their independence with the support of volunteers.