OPAL In Touch, a new service to support older people who currently have little or no experience of using technology has received a generous boost of funding from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (London Office), and the Cheshire Province. This funding will be invaluable in helping OPAL to help older people in rural communities in west Cheshire, who do not yet benefit from having the skills and equipment to access the internet, to keep in touch with family and friends during the pandemic.
The service will be run through our very successful OPAL GoOnLine service and will transform the lives of older people caught in a cycle of isolation without access to the digital world. Each client will be allocated a suitable volunteer who will support them on their IT journey. The service will begin in April 2021.
OPAL is delighted to announce that Cheshire West and Chester Council has awarded us a new contract to provide carer breaks through to Autumn 2022.
Further funding on £30,000, also from the Council, will allow us to relaunch our carer services as BreakTime Plus. We will provide an enhanced befriending service as we emerge out of lockdown, comprising our OPAL Reach newsletter, activity packs and our phone befriending service. The new service begins on 1st April 2021.
OPAL Services is pleased to announce that it has received £2500 from the Cheshire West and Chester Council LTTA fund to support OPAL In Touch. OPAL In Touch is an exiting new service that is designed to help older people in rural communities who have no experience, or very limited experience, of using technology. More information will be appearing on our website very soon.
Cheshire West and Chester Council is asking for views on how the Council can set a balanced budget in these unprecedented times. Since March they have faced the biggest public health emergency in living memory and there is considerable uncertainty about future budgets. It is estimated that the Council faces a financial gap of between £34 million and £43 million over the next four years.
To register your views on the Council’s proposals go to:
OPAL has submitted it’s response which you can view by clicking here.
On Wednesday 11th November, David Briggs, Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, formally handed over to OPAL volunteers the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The virtual event took place prior to OPAL’s Annual General Meeting and
attended by over 60 guests.
Jane Colville, Chair of Trustees, received the award on behalf of all OPAL’s volunteers. “We are delighted to have been recognised by the Queen for the work we undertake for older people and carers in rural communities. Although we received notification of the award in March, COVID-19 has meant we need to adjust the ‘usual’ presentation of the award. It was amazing to see so many faces on the Zoom session”.
David Briggs commended our volunteers saying “You are truly stars. OPAL is a special charity and you are spreaders
of happiness. This is the highest award a group of volunteers can be given—the equivalent of an MBE”.
OPAL has teamed up with Cheshire West and Chester Council Libraries and Age-friendly Digital Inclusion group members to stage Get Online Week from 19th to 25th October. Activities include ‘Get Online and Try Something New’ on the 21 October as well as encouragement and support to get online including one-to-one support by friendly volunteers. OPAL GoOnLine volunteers will be available throughout the day on 20th and 21st October to help you get connected to the activities and help answer any queries.
To book or attend an event go to https://livewell.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/Information/onlineday or to the Libraries Facebook page at @cwaclibrary
In 2020 the OPAL Services Annual General Meeting will take place on November 11th at 5pm.
Due to the current situation, the AGM this year will be a virtual event and will take place on Zoom.
Members, volunteers and the general public are all warmly invited to join us.
For further information and to register your interest to attend please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
OPAL is pleased to announce it has been awarded £6,000 by Cheshire West and Chester from it’s Community Response Fund.
This funding will allow us to bring creativity and social contact into the lives of our elderly members who continue to be vulnerable to the ongoing impact of Covid-19.
While our OPAL Clubs continue to be closed because of the ongoing pandemic we will be providing 3 activity packs as a result of this generous support. We have already tried out our ideas on a smaller scale with great results and we look forward to providing a further 3 activity packs between October and the end of the year.