Press Release – Watch out there’s a Moose in the Hoose !!

An Edinburgh volunteering project, which helps keep people in care homes in contact with friends and family via email has been short listed for a £5,000 national Community Care award in London on 14 December 2006

Moose in the Hoose is a partnership between Health and Social Care in Edinburgh and two voluntary agencies, ACE IT (Age Concern Edinburgh Information Technology) and RSVP (CSV’s Retired and Seniors Volunteer programme)

The project brings together the interest and enthusiasm of some of the City’s most frail elderly people; the commitment, time and expertise of older volunteers (all of them 50+ themselves) and the support and encouragement of the three agencies and their staff teams

In the year since Moose in the Hoose was launched over 50 individuals (living in 4 of the Council’s residential Care Homes and 2 voluntary sector sheltered housing schemes) have benefited from the weekly visits of the 14 trained ‘Moose’ volunteers

Volunteers work in pairs and are matched to a care home or scheme. They provide friendly, regular and sustainable support and encouragement for residents and tenants to access the computer equipment. The equipment was funded by a capital grant from City of Edinburgh Council’s Corporate Services, linked to A City For All Ages – Edinburgh’s Joint Plan for Older People

Rachel Henry, Volunteer Development Officer with the City of Edinburgh’s Health and Social Care department, says “‘Moose in the Hoose’ is a great example of what can be achieved when organizations and individuals are encouraged to work together and share their skills, resources and time. Being short-listed for this national award is well-deserved recognition for everyone involved in the ‘Moose’ partnership and it high-lights the huge contribution that volunteers make to the work we do as a local authority.”

Jenny Ridge Chief Exec of ACE IT says “Through our main Computer Training project for the 50+ group, we have been making a difference to the lives of older people within the city for the past 5 years. This (Moose in the Hoose) extension of the project really demonstrates that ALL older people can benefit from the wonders of the Internet. We are particularly proud of a weekly live web camera link to relatives in Canada for one resident. We are also extremely proud of all our volunteers and their commitment to the project”

Terry Blair, Development Officer RSVP says “Through their creativity and commitment, Moose volunteers have managed to put families back in touch with each other and kept alive hobbies and interests. To date, numerous email connections have been made with families spread through out the globe, webcam links have been made with family in Canada, working songs from St Kilda have been recorded for posterity. Meanwhile crosswords have been solved, Christmas card labels have been printed and e-cards made”

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