Charity’s care service recruiting more staff amid testing times

A Help At Home care coordinator caring for a service user.

A Help At Home care coordinator caring for a service user.

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Nearly 11 years on from the opening of Bell View’s building in Belford, the charity continues to expand and grow despite testing financial times.

And one of its trading arms, Help at Home, under manager David Robertson seems to be turning a corner, delivering in excess of 600 hours of care a month to vulnerable people in an area covering more than 150 square miles.

Not only do they help and care for the elderly, they provide support to younger adults with a disability or learning difficulty, very often giving family carers respite to have necessary breaks.

At present, the service employs 23 staff members, with more potential recruits presently being interviewed.

Should you or someone you know require any help at home, contact David or Lucy at Bell View for further information on 01668 219538 or email bellviewhelpathome@hotmail.co.uk

The charity’s well-attended annual general meeting took place on November 24, where chairman of the board Christine Harris and treasurer Eileen Duncan each presented their reports.

There was also a presentation given by Ros Duncan on the work of the Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Project, which aims to conserve and restore the built and natural features of the historic landscape.

Elections of board members took place and joining the present team of trustees – Christine Harris (chairman), Eileen Duncan, Andrew Harris, Alison Woolley, Kathleen Williamson and John Woodman – are Barbara Twinname and Emma Miller, who were re-elected for a further term, and new members Malcolm Cresswell, Eth Bennett, Ann McNeil and Margaret Todd.

Malcolm Cresswell brings with him many years of experience in the building trade where he started as a surveyor and then became managing director of his own company before retiring in 2010.

He has been involved in charity work all his life and raised several thousand pounds for Bell View during his captaincy Bamburgh Castle Golf Club.

Eth Bennett presently works for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) as an operational manager and has a team of 33 staff working for her. She has recently moved to the area and was so impressed by the work done at Bell View that she felt she must be involved.

Ann McNeil is a retired occupational therapist and has worked in Switzerland for many years in the fields of geriatrics and neurology. Recently returning with her husband to live in her childhood home in Detchant, she believes that Bell View offers a vital service to the community and hopes that some of her experience may be of use in helping the charity to continue to thrive and grow.

Margaret Todd has lived in Belford with her partner Andrew since 2005. She devoted many years in caring for her late husband Peter who suffered from MS until his death in 2001 and subsequently in caring for her father who suffered from dementia. These experiences made her realise the importance of having a team of people around offering support.

Forthcoming events at Bell View

On Tuesday, January 19, at 6pm, there is an open meeting where members of the public and the village are invited to talk about the problems and issues that residents are facing in getting to and from the new emergency-care hospital at Cramlington and possible solutions that could be developed locally.

Taking place on Friday, January 22, at 7pm, there is a fund-raising Haggis Neeps and Tatties Quiz Night.

Entry costs £5, which includes food. Tickets are available in advance from Bell View’s reception, with wine and soft drinks available on the evening.

On Sunday, January 31, from 2pm to 5pm, there is a tea dance, with music provided by Dodd Hutchinson.

Entry is £2.50, which includes an afternoon tea, with transport available upon request (donation requested), with donations of raffle prizes welcome.

For more information or how to get involved with the work of the charity, either as a trustee or as a volunteer, contact Bell View on 01668 219220.