A leading provider of housing aimed at enhancing later life is expanding its dedicated team amidst efforts to ensure the region remains the least lonely place to live for over-55s.
Pickering and Ferens Homes has recently appointed Claire Champlin as its new health and wellbeing manager, a position that has been created specifically to target residents suffering from loneliness and isolation, which affects 80% of over-55s in some parts of the UK according to a recent report by leading think tank, Demos.
Yorkshire and Humberside emerged as the least lonely region, with 47% of over-55s saying they had not felt lonely at any point during the past 12 months, with local communities and neighbours playing a large role.
Claire will be tasked with actively encouraging residents across the board to take on roles within resident-led committees, panels and activity groups, providing new and creative opportunities to maintain healthy lifestyles no matter their age or mobility, as well as offering personal support on a one-to-one basis.
“We are delighted to welcome Claire on board,” explains Claire Warren, chief executive of Pickering and Ferens Homes. “We recognise that there is an unbreakable link between good housing and someone’s health and wellbeing.
“Our responsibility goes well beyond simply the bricks and mortar of residents’ homes, we are committed to exploring partnerships with health and social care providers to ensure that the quality of life and accessibility of services for our residents is second to none.
“The new role we have introduced will focus on developing these partnerships and also in generating services and activities that combat the sense of loneliness and social isolation so many people experience in later life. I am confident Claire is the right person to fulfil this role to ensure everything we do is geared towards improving the quality of our residents’ lives.”
Claire Champlin joins the association with three and half years’ experience as a sports development officer for Hull City Council, where she pioneered a number of successful sporting initiatives aimed at increasing independence and improving social interaction in older people. Prior to this career she worked in the equine industry.
As well as actively encouraging residents to become more self-sufficient and take on roles within resident led committees, panels and activity groups, Claire will offer personal support on a one-to-one basis.
She said: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Pickering and Ferens Homes’ residents and staff for many years through my previous job roles and I’m delighted to now become part of their inspiring team.
“I’m really looking forward to being able to use my skills to shape my position as the health and wellbeing manager in the most positive way I can – the role itself is a blank canvas, so the potential is fantastic.
“The most important thing to me will be reaching those individuals who feel isolated. I want to be able to improve their social and mental state by offering them opportunities that are of interest to them – at the end of the day it is all about offering something for everyone.”