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Guardian Public Services Awards short-lists Connect project

01 October 2008

Connect's Reaching Out Project has been short-listed in the renowned Guardian Public Services Awards - Care of Older People category.

‘Reaching Out’ project is a ground-breaking scheme which trains teams of volunteers to visit people with aphasia in their own homes to have conversations.  Unique to this project, volunteers are trained by ‘experts’ - people with aphasia themselves, so participants have meaningful conversations with volunteers who really understand aphasia. The project aims to support people with aphasia who are often elderly, isolated, alone and unable to access traditional therapy or services.  It augments social engagement, maintains dignity, boosts self esteem and increases confidence for the elderly person with aphasia. Connect has piloted the scheme with eleven service providers and now offers a ‘toolkit and training’ package to enable providers to set up their own conversation partner scheme.

The scheme provides an all-important opportunity for social engagement and conversation and is a practical, cost-effective means for elderly people to maintain contact and self-worth whilst preserving dignity in their own home. 70% reported that they feel more confident, better at trying new things, and some reported that their speech has improved. 

More about the Reaching Out Project.

The winner of the award will be announced at the awards ceremony on 25 November 2008.

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