Leeds City Council

Published : 16/10/2012 00:00

Meals at home helping to keep older people SAFER

This month Leeds City Council’s meals at home service is linking up with West Yorkshire Trading Standards to support their ‘Scams and fraud education for residents’ (SAFER) initiative. 

The initiative is aimed at preventing older people falling victim to fraud.  The meals at home service will be part of a wider network of frontline care workers and volunteers acting as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the community, identifying potential problems and keeping abreast of new scams.

Throughout this innovative project, which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund, meals at home staff will be working in partnership with West Yorkshire Trading Standards by taking part in training workshops.  These will help to raise awareness of the types of scams that older people may be prey to, and also assist in identifying potential victims and helping them get support.

Throughout the coming months, staff will be providing information to people using the meals at home service, highlighting common scams and frauds, top tips to protect themselves and also delivering useful reminder pads reinforcing the need to check on callers and to be aware of unsolicited mail arriving through their letterbox.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult health and social care said:
“By linking with initiatives like SAFER helps promote a service that prevents many vulnerable people in Leeds not only becoming malnourished but also socially isolated.  You simply cannot deny the overwhelming importance of this service as it provides support beyond just delivering a meal ensuring the customer is safe and well.”

Graham Hebblethwaite, chief officer of West Yorkshire Trading Standards said:
“I am delighted the staff at meals at home are becoming actively involved in the scams and fraud education for residents (SAFER) initiative.  Community safety is an important message to all age groups, and their commitment is a good way of supporting work to help people in Leeds be safer in their own homes.”

Councillor Neil Taggart, Chair of West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee, which oversees the work of trading standards, said:
“We know that older people can fall victim to scams and frauds all too easily. Thanks to the SAFER initiative we will be able to work more closely with local communities to build resilience to bogus callers, doorstep criminals and fraudsters, to avoid residents becoming prey to rogue traders and increasing their confidence to say ‘no' to doorstep callers.”

Ends

Notes to editors
West Yorkshire Trading Standards
• The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
• BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since June 2004 BIG has awarded over £4.4bn.
• The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
• Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £28 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.

Meals at home service
• The meals at home service deliver to over 450 people across Leeds seven day a week throughout the city.
• The service provides a hot lunch, a drink and a cold teatime snack.
• The service enables vulnerable people to not only access a hot meal, but have a health and well being check on every visit. The service provides an early warning to carers and relatives if there are concerns about a person’s health.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk