INS is a registered Charity and is governed by 8 Trustees which include service users; it was formed in late 2007 in response to the identified need that the level of support required by an ageing Irish population was increasing.
It soon became apparent that the needs of the elder Irish were the same as older people throughout Stevenage and our Constitution reflects our aims which are focused on enabling all older people to live independently in their own homes and to combat social isolation amongst older people.
INS is open to all and we are delighted that the services we have been providing has encouraged older people to approach us and ask for our help. It has become apparent that our friendly and non-intrusive approach to our beneficiaries is welcome and our membership has grown, approximately 75% of our members are non-Irish.
Our Care in the Community project provides an outreach service to the older more vulnerable members of the community. Our volunteers visit people in their homes, make welfare calls for them and are a welcome friendly face. The work our volunteers do is invaluable to those who see them and each resident has a different need. It has been said by many of our valued volunteers that being a volunteer is an opportunity to make friends rather than just than just providing company and support to those most in need.
Our Christmas Club is a traditional Savings Club that pays out in November. Started in 2015 in conjunction with the Stevenage Credit Union we had 40 members join in the first two months and continued to grow. We have now started our Christmas Club for 2016 and are welcoming existing and new members. Don’t forget that putting money aside in advance means you can worry less about how you’re going to pay for Christmas and more about how much you’re going to enjoy it debt-free. You can join our Christmas Club through the year and save as much or as little as you like. More information can be found in our quarterly newsletters.
The aim of our social activities is to have fun! We provide various social activities to keep our members socially active and mentally stimulated including; an afternoon Film Club showing some old favourites, Flower Arranging and Cake Decorating workshops, a Men's Club, Day Trips, Bingo, afternoon socials with music and dancing and also Tea & Dance afternoons. On top of this we also have a weekly Exercise class run by a specialist fitness instructor with exercises for all abilities. Everyone is welcome.
Our 1 to 1 IT classes are very popular and we have now been offering these classes for over a year and they have been a fantastic success, offering tailored 1 to 1 support our members have learnt things such as Facebook, on line shopping, downloading photos, how to stay safe on the internet and general internet browsing, all at their own speed. To make the classes as accessible for as many as possible we have now increased the days we can offer these so are now doing classes on Mondays and Fridays. Many of our IT learners are sharing posts, tweeting and keeping up to date with us, our partners and any support or help which is available to them. As these are 1 to 1 classes they must be booked in advance.