OPAL aims to reduce loneliness and isolation of older people living in Leeds 16, as well as improving the quality of their lives by enabling them to live independently, safely and healthily. We give direct support to 700 older people and our services include:
Practical support: Shopping trips using a wheelchair accessible minibus and volunteers to give assistance; Handyman project for odd jobs such as changing light bulbs and other small jobs; Volunteer transport scheme to enable older people to access social activities and appointments; Home Fire safety checks.
Emotional support: Dementia project for people affected by memory problems giving them peer support, information and coping strategies; Friendly visiting scheme ; Home visits by staff members to give support ; Phone Link where isolated older people are phoned regularly to check on their wellbeing; Carers and Moving on Group to give peer support.
Learning: Computer lessons giving one to one tuition.
Intergenerational projects: Social events for older people and students; Intergenerational choir.
Health and Wellbeing: Our two Luncheon Clubs ensure around 70 older people get a hot nutritious meal each week - many who attend have a physical disability and/or a mental health problem; Tai chi, yoga, chair exercise and gentle exercise classes attended by 100 older people each week.
Social activities: Monthly day trips using a wheelchair accessible coach and volunteers to give assistance to people who need it and three regular coffee afternoons. Most attendees have a mental health problem and/or a physical disability. The Men's Group is for isolated and lonely gentlemen; Tea Dance.
Information Service: Bimonthly newsletter giving information about social activities, grants and information for older people; Drop in centre where older people can come for support, help filling out forms, making phone calls, to get details of trusted local tradespeople and other information they need; Phone help; Benefits support.