South West Wales

Pilot project to 'keep care local' in Pembrokeshire village

Solva

Villagers in Pembrokeshire are piloting a project to look after the elderly in their own community.

The 'Solva Care' scheme involves volunteers from the village doing odd jobs for free for the older residents, or for those who need respite care.

Project leader Mollie Roach came up with the idea, convinced that care can be delivered more effectively.

The pilot is thought to be one of the first of its kind in the UK.

It started at the beginning of October and already has 27 volunteers.

"It seemed to me that we could do it better and keep things locally, and do it for ourselves," said Mrs Roach.

She said, while paid community carers in the area did a great job, they were often "dashing about" from one visit to another.

Betty Temple, 96, is one of those being helped by student Bryony Dixon.

"We talk and she takes the dog for a walk - and he loves her," she said

For the student, it is a chance to help with little things that make a difference to Mrs Temple's life.

"I visit two ladies every week," Ms Dixon said.

"With Betty, I help her with day-to-day things like walking her dog and putting the washing-up to dry."

The scheme has now been been granted almost £57,000 in funding - £33,500 from the Welsh government and a further £23,400 from the Sustainable Development Fund run by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Organisers hope the money will be enough to keep the pilot running for the next two years.

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