The Older People’s Outreach service is funded by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Corporate Services and is a service for elderly Arabic-speaking women and men aged 55 years and over who live in the borough.
Older women and men are faced with many challenges as they try to manage their daily lives and take care of their own needs once they reach a certain age and their families (if they have any) have flown the coup. Those who come from different religious and cultural backgrounds often encounter further obstacles which further disrupt their ability to cope alone. Language barriers can lead to debilitating feelings of isolation and helplessness and make it much more difficult to access help and services that some people do not even know are available to them.
Our service aims to provide information, advice and advocacy on a wide range of issues including health, housing and welfare benefits to these individuals. Referrals can be made to other services such as Social Services and Occupational Therapy, and even by the individual themselves, for those who feel they are vulnerable and in need of assistance.
For women who are unable to come to the centre, we have a bilingual outreach worker who can make home visits and also accompany individuals to GP and hospital appointments.
We also run a programme of workshops throughout the year, to inform and educate the women as to their rights and the services which are available to them and to facilitate dialogue and consultation between service users and service providers so that no individual is unaware of the services that they can access with or without our continued support.
In conjunction with this we also seek to provide general emotional support for the women, through social and cultural gatherings and outings. Making sure that on each occasion, there is cultural, spiritual and social enlightenment for the ladies to experience. When possible we also run visits to museums and galleries, day and overnight trips to the countryside or coast and hold traditional celebrations during Ramadan and the two Eids where people of all faiths and cultures are welcome.
Last year we supported approximately 1130 women.
To record their migratory journey, we produced a documentary film and indeed published a book that has won a place at the British Library in London.
Link to Dardasha page