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NHHW Case studies

Case study 1

A 78 year old man had been in hospital recovering from a stroke. The hospital were ready to discharge him but a formal carer could not be scheduled to visit until much later that day. The hospital made a referral to the Neighbourhood Friends project operating in Exeter, however he lived in an area not covered by that particular project. He did however live in an area where Neighbourhood Health Watch is active.  The Coordinator at Westbank was able to refer it to the NHHW Coordinator in his area, who arranged for local good neighbour volunteers to be on hand to welcome him home, make sure he had heat, a hot meal and generally be supported in between visits from the formal carer.

Case study 2

An elderly lady had been living on her own with her cat since being widowed 2 years before.  Sadly one day the cat was knocked over and killed.  The lady was extremely distressed and wrote a notice which was displayed in the local village shop expressing her anger at the person responsible.  The notice was seen by some of the NHHW good neighbours who realised that this lady was clearly in distress.  They went to visit the lady and through offering their support and friendship they quickly identified that she was still grieving the loss of her husband and the loss of her cat was a catalyst for her grief.  The good neighbours supported her by visiting, having a cup of tea and being on hand to listen to her. In time she was so grateful to the good neighbour volunteers for the support and friendship she received from them, she felt able to offer her services to the community and became a good neighbour volunteer herself.

Case study 3

A 92 year old man came along with a good neighbour volunteer to a NHHW coffee morning in his area.  He said it was the first coffee morning he had ever been to and was thrilled to be able to attend. Whilst talking to other good neighbour volunteers he mentioned that he wished he had someone to play chess or drafts with from time to time. One of the good neighbour volunteers heard this and said that he had a 15 year old son who was looking to learn chess but didn’t have anyone to teach him.  The good neighbour volunteers took the teenager along to meet the gentleman and from then on they meet up weekly for a game of chess or drafts.  They have both found the experience extremely rewarding. 

Case study 4

A lady in her 70’s had a mild stroke and after receiving treatment in hospital, was ready to be discharged.  A formal package of care was put in place but two of her neighbours were also good neighbour volunteers in their local watch and they were able to offer additional support in the times between formal visits from the carer.  However when her neighbours were due to go on holiday the lady became very anxious, worried that she would be unable to cope on her own, until she realised that other good neighbour volunteers were available in her area to support her.  The watch organised for good neighbour volunteers to pop in with a daily newspaper, make her a cup of tea and generally just be on hand to offer companionship while she was recovering. 

Case study 5

A lady raised concerns about a neighbour with the local neighbourhood police team.  She was worried about him but did not know quite know where to refer her concerns. The neighbour was a very private man who did not socialise with his neighbours. The local PC went to visit him and quickly assessed that there was nothing criminal taking place, the gentleman could just use some support from his neighbours and community.  The man had kept geese in his back garden but during recent storms the shelter he had built to house them had been damaged. In an attempt to keep them safe he had moved them into the house.  This was the source of strange noises the neighbours could hear and also posed a health risk to the man.  One of the local good neighbour volunteers was a builder who was very happy to build (at no cost) a new run in the garden for the geese so they could be moved out of the house.  A couple of other good neighbour volunteers helped the man clean up the house and have continued to offer support and companionship.  Whilst he still prefers to keep to himself he says he feels more confident to ask the Good Neighbour volunteers for support if he needs it, rather than try and struggle on alone.