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New partnership with Age UK in North, South and West Dorset

Date: 30th April, 2021

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has entered a formal partnership with Age UK in North, South and West Dorset (NSWD) to provide additional support to elderly and vulnerable residents in these areas.

Under the agreement, the Service will train staff at Age UK NSWD on its Safe & Well programme, so they can help to identify vulnerable people at greater risk of fire and make referrals for a home visit. During these visits, Safe & Well Advisors don’t just look at fire safety, they talk with the individuals and signpost them to relevant agencies that can provide them with additional support – one of which would be Age UK.

Andy Woods, the Service’s Safe & Well Team Leader for Research and Partnerships, said: “I am delighted to be working with Age UK NSWD, which is an established charity focusing on providing a range of support to older people and share our values in helping people to live safer, healthier, and more independent lives. I am looking forward to meeting and training all Age UK NSWD staff on our Safe & Well programme, enabling them to spot the signs, hazards and risk factors associated with fire, and enabling them to make a referral to us. Our hope is that this new partnership will be both successful and productive in the future.”

Dave Thorp, CEO of Age UK NSWD, said: “Age UK NSWD wants Dorset to be a great place for older people to live. We are therefore proud to be working alongside Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service as they, like us, value older people and want them to live safely in their homes. We look forward to working with Andy and the Safe & Well Team to make a noticeable difference to the safety of the people we are here to support.”

Alongside this joint working, the Service’s various safety messages will be made available to Age UK NSWD for sharing through their different channels, therefore helping to reach more vulnerable people in the community, and the charity will be utilising the community rooms at local fire stations once Covid restrictions ease.

A virtual agreement signing ceremony was held earlier this month between Dave Thorp, CEO of Age UK NSWD; Area Manager Marc House, Head of Prevention & Protection at Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service; and Andy Woods, Safe & Well Team Leader for Research and Partnerships.

If any other charity working with the elderly or vulnerable across Dorset and Wiltshire is interested in entering a similar partnership with the fire service, please contact Andy Woods via [email protected]

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