New shop opens at Sandwell

5th Apr 2016

A new shop has opened today at Sandwell Hospital, as part of an exciting partnership between social enterprise Agewell and Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (SWBH).

The new store will help Agewell generate revenue to support older people over 50 who are in need. Speaking at the opening day, Agewell Chair Edna Baker, said:

“We are delighted to open our shop at Sandwell Hospital, and hope the community will support us as we aim to generate the funds to help run many programmes that support elderly patients at the hospital and after discharge.

“We will also provide a ward trolley service so we can have more chances to speak to patients and identify those in need of our ‘Befriending’ support or if they need community support when they get home.”

Estelle Greenwood, Lead for the ‘Mi Volunteer’ service at SWBH, said: “It is an exciting partnership and will lead to huge things. This partnership will give our patients more support from the community. Our Mi volunteers will work closely with  Agewell and staff on the wards to give patients extra help in hospital as well as at home. Agewell has been working closely with our ‘Icares’ team at the Trust in providing sessions to help patients with their posture, in the aim of preventing falls and increase patients’ confidence when they are at home.”

The shop sells a range of items including sandwiches, snacks, drinks, toiletries and newspapers. The volunteers plan to ask for feedback from the public to ensure they offer as wide a range of products as possible. In the longer term, the shop wants to create a space where patients can drop in for a drink and chat. Volunteers will then have an opportunity to help patients identify the community services that can help them.

The group has been offering their ‘Befriending’ services at the Trust for a while, also known as Edna’s Army, which sees Agewell volunteers visit the wards and spend time with patients who feel lonely and need more support from the community.

Edna Barker, Chair of Agewell with Ruth Bailey, Volunteer
Edna Barker, Chair of Agewell with Ruth Bailey, Volunteer
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