Recently, I was lucky enough to meet some of the people in our communities who are benefitting from their services and finding out how Chichester Careline  has helped to transform their lives.

The service offers a range of different solutions to help people to live safely and independently in their own home. All of these solutions are connected to our centre which is based in Florence Road in Chichester, which operates 24 hours a day, every single day of the year. Even when we're all tucking into our turkey on Christmas Day, our Chichester Careline staff are helping those who are most vulnerable in our district. 

There is a common myth that these services are just for older people. In reality, they are used to support children, university students, lone workers, people with medical problems, as well as older people who want to continue to live in their own home. One of our customers was able to live and study away from home for the first time because of the support from Careline. She had epilepsy and was able to attend the University and go away on field trips thanks to Careline. This had never been possible before.

It's also incredible to hear how Careline has been supporting Linda, one of our clients from Chichester. She has been with Chichester Careline for the past 19 years. When she first joined us, she was just 33. Linda was introduced to the service following an accident that left her with a series of disabilities. As Linda points out, this support offers reassurance to both her and her family. She says that the staff at the centre have become her best friends because she has known them for so long.

Chichester District Council was one of the first councils in the country to set up a 24-hour monitoring centre and since then the service has continued to lead the way. A couple of years ago, it made headlines across the world due to the introduction of the Mindme GPS device, which was initially designed especially for those with dementia. You can't fail to be touched when you hear the story of John Dunn, from Midhurst. John went missing while on holiday at Durdle Door and was found after our Careline staff guided the search and rescue crews to where he was located. According to his wife, Rose, there is no doubt that this saved his life and that it extended the time he could continue to live at home. Rose is an incredible person, who is happy to speak out about their story because she wants other people to know about the support that is available.

If you know someone who would benefit from Chichester Careline's services, please encourage them to find out more. At the moment, the service is offering a 13 week trial on their lifeline unit to those who are new to the service. This gives you the chance to see for yourself how the service can benefit you, a neighbour, or family member.

Cllr Eileen Lintill

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Services at Chichester District Council

October 2015