At a glance

Here’s how we’re making a difference to communities in Harborough and throughout Leicestershire:

Our Harborough based schemes:

VASL Social Transport Project

Our social transport project remains the most well-known and popular project with local people of Harborough providing a range of services for elderly, disabled or rurally isolated people who either can’t use public transport or are living in an area where none exists.

To be eligible, passengers are either elderly, disabled or there is no access to public transport in the geographical location where they live. Our seven seater multi purpose vehicle provided regular shopping trips to Melton Mowbray, Fosse Park, Corby, Padders factory shop & Tesco at Kettering. In the past year it has also been hired to transport young carers to a fortnightly group, and adult carers to a variety of events and training courses.

To find out more call Sandy Handley on 01858 468499 or email transport@vasl.org.uk

Community Champions

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This  Harborough District based project helps to reduce loneliness and isolation for people over 60. It was awarded five years funding in June 2017 from The Big Lottery Fund.

We are looking for volunteers to either visit or telephone people regularly to give the social contact or maybe accompany people on trips but most of all find ways to get that person involved with their own local community. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact champions@vasl.org.uk

Publicity

Our  Digital Marketing and Publicity Co-ordinator  organises promotion of  our projects to the wider community, media and partners.  To find out more or to arrange a talk about our work for your group or business, please call Nickie Philbin on 01858 439264  or email nphilbin@vasl.org.uk

Our Leicestershire County based schemes:

Support for Carers Leicestershire

Since July 2011, we’ve held the Leicestershire County Council contract to deliver ‘Support for Carers’ across the whole of Leicestershire. This developed our previous, local service to reach countywide. We’re receiving referrals from many different sources such as GP practices, statutory services, from within the voluntary sector and self-referrals.LCC re-awarded us the contract again in May 2015 and 4,332 carers were registered with us by the beginning of January 2017.  Every week more carers get in touch with us.  The service is developing new ways to identify and support carers: through the website, carer support groups, telephone befriending service, newsletters and working in partnership with voluntary and statutory services.

The website www.supportforcarers.org has effectively promoted events and services across the county to support carers, as well as keeping them updated with all relevant new information and legislation through our newsletters. To find out more call Pat Wilkins on 0845 689 9510 or email pat@supportforcarers.org

Complementary Therapy Service

Funding for this project has come from several sources including Leicestershire County Council (Shire Grant) and Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation, Specsavers in Market Harborough together with donations from carers themselves to continue to provide complementary therapy and pampering sessions for carers in Harborough District VASL provided over 200 treatments to more than 50 different carers in 2013-14. To find out more please call 0845 689 9510 or email pat@supportforcarers.org

Young Carers

Our Young Carers Group meets on Youth Service premises and Leicestershire County Council provides additional staffing, which is all contributed in kind.   BBC Children in Need has supported this project for four years and  the project was also chosen by Women In Philanthropy (WIP) to be one their three projects that they supported through 2015/2016.  To find out more please call Hannah Currington on 07845 789782 or email hcurrington@vasl.org.uk

Leicestershire Carers Choir

At the end of 2013 we were successful in winning a vote held by The Leicester Mercury readers to run the above Big Lottery Funded project, setting up and delivering fortnightly choir sessions at venues in Oadby & Wigston and Hinckley & Bosworth – areas with a high concentration of unpaid carers. The two-hour sessions  provided carers with the opportunity to meet others whilst learning a variety of songs in four-part harmony. At Christmas 2014 both choirs joined together for a performance and in 2015 they amalgamated into one choir, meeting fortnightly in Lutterworth. We are looking for funding for the choir in 2017. https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/vasl/choir

 Step by Step

A group running in Market Harborough and Hinckley that supports former carers to rebuild their lives.  Contact: Gurjit or Jackie on 0845 6899510

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