How YOU can help provide quality care for the elderly

Age UK' Alan Fowler, with June and carer Hazel.
Age UK' Alan Fowler, with June and carer Hazel.

The Northumberland Gazette has teamed up with Age UK Northumberland to launch a campaign for more home carers to join the charity.

Across North Northumberland there are currently 120 older people who benefit on a daily basis from exceptional care from the team at Age UK Northumberland.

That figure is set to grow massively as more and more people over 65 wish to remain at home with their dignity and independence rather than go in a home or move in with family. Age UK Northumberland want to be in position to deliver quality care to the growing numbers, and is looking to recruit exceptional people to the team now.

Over the next six weeks we will be looking at five core areas to our territory including Amble, Alnwick, Rothbury, Seahouses, and Warkworth taking in Alnmouth and Lesbury. We will also be sharing with Northumberland Gazette

readers a day in the life of an existing carer in each area, and giving you an insight into our service users and the positive benefits to their lives due to the support received thanks to Age UK Northumberland’s home care attendants.

This week we launch the campaign by introducing Alan Fowler, registered manager for Age UK Northumberland’s Home Care Service. Alan has been part of the team for over five years, and is responsible for ensuring regulations and

procedures are met by the team of attendants, as well as being out and about assessing needs of people in their homes. Living in Amble, Alan’s heart is in his role and his community.

Here Alan gives his view of the role and what he will be looking for in people interested in joining the charity: “It is my responsibility to make sure that we deliver the very best care.

“We work with a number of agencies who procure care, and many of our older people come through referrals, although more and more are approaching us with direct budgets as the word about our high levels of quality service spread.

“There are number of reasons why people are wanting to stay in their own home rather than consider other options and why care at home is increasing.

“People are living longer, and modern medicine allows lifestyles to be maintained independently and for longer. Family member are often working full-time, and our service supports them in looking after their elderly family on a

day-to-day basis at home.

“The solution? To bring in trusted, quality, professional carers, with a heart, that allows older people independence and dignity in the safe environment of their own home.

“Because of this shift in family set up, and the ever-changing needs of older people it is necessary for us to be constantly recruiting the right kind of carers.”


When we heard at the Northumberland Gazette that Age UK Northumberland is looking for home care attendants to cover north Northumberland, we were keen to get behind the campaign.

In our readership area, there are some real challenges when it comes to caring for the elderly.

It is estimated that in eight years’ time, up to six per cent of the population across Alnwick and Berwick will be over 85. Currently, around 20 per cent of the population is over 65 and it estimated that by 2121, the proportion of over 50s will have risen to nearly 58 per cent.

Our average age in population is getting older year on year as people live longer and younger families move to cities and elsewhere in the UK.

Our geography also poses another challenge. Our rural districts outside of the more densely-populated towns of Alnwick and Berwick, are sparsely habited with 0.34 people per hectare. This means that many of our elderly live in homes in rural locations and with bad weather conditions that can make them difficult to reach.

There are many other challenges, which I will leave to the experts to discuss over the next six weeks as we run our campaign looking for those very special people I know live in our area and could make all the difference by joining Age UK Northumberland as a home care attendant.

By Paul Larkin,


Northumberland Gazette


Quality home care attendants are at the heart of what Age UK Northumberland does and the search is on to find more special people who want to help older people live independently in their own home and community.

The people we need to join us must have outstanding skills in treating people with care and dignity, while being professional in delivering a quality service.

We know there are a lot of you out there, male and female, and we urge you to put these skills to use for the good of your own community’s older people.

The recognition of the Home Care service is reflected in the new three-year strategy we launched at the start of this year. We aim to ensure that Age UK Northumberland continues to provide a wide range of flexible, safe and quality services alongside community-based charitable activity.

We are determined to deliver our vision of supporting older people in their quest to enjoy a fulfilling life and would like to thank the Northumberland Gazette for their support in our campaign to boost our number of carers.

We do have an appointment process. After your application is accepted, we make a shortlist then invite successful candidates to a selection day where you will take part in group activities, key skills assessments and an interview. The next step is induction, which takes four days, and we will give you all the skills you need to do the job including guidelines, procedures, health and safety, manual handling and medication training.

On completion, our staff shadow an existing carer for around 20 hours or until they are confident enough to take on their own programme of work.

If you want to make a difference to your community, brighten someone’s day, everyday, then Age UK Northumberland needs you. It’s easy to apply, just give us a call on 0845 1400088 and we will send you an application pack.

By Katherine Shearer,

Chief Executive,

Age UK Northumberland