Volunteers needed – Do you have a few hours a week to spare?

30th November 2017

Would you like to make a contribution to the people of your community?

Eden Independent Living (EIL) is a specialist service from Eden Housing Association, providing care alarms and support services to help elderly and vulnerable people stay as independent as possible in their own home.

EIL (incorporating the former Eden Community Alarms) is a charitable organisation and has a long history of working with volunteers. Volunteers form an integral part of our team and play an important role in helping us to provide the best possible service and care to our clients.

Work undertaken by existing volunteers includes:

  • Visiting clients – checking the alarm equipment and client welfare
  • Reception – a variety of duties at the EIL office in No12 St. Andrew’s Churchyard, Penrith
  • Equipment maintenance – checking and cleaning alarm equipment

EIL is now recruiting volunteers for a variety of roles and would love to talk to you about these opportunities. No experience is needed and full training, expenses and on-going support will be provided by our team.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering, please call Caroline Leonard on 01768 890657 or email enquiry@eil.org.uk

Alternatively, why not have a chat to one of our team at the Volunteer Recruitment Sessions listed below; we’d love to meet you.

  • Monday 2 October 2017 – Keswick Library, between 10:00-11:00 (provisional)
  • Wednesday 4 October 2017 – The Links Centre, Kirkby Stephen between 14:00-16:00 (to coincide with the Repair Café)
  • Wednesday 11 October 2017 – Appleby Library, between 14:00-15:00
  • Friday 13 October 2017 – Court Thorn Medical Practice, Low Hesket between 14:30-15:30
  • Tuesday 24 October 2017 – Penrith Library, between 10:00-11:00

Eden Rehabilitation Project set to free up hospital beds

13th June 2017

Eden Rehabilitation project

The Eden Independent Living (EIL) Service provided by Eden Housing Association (EHA) has relaunched the Eden Rehabilitation Project, designed to help patients get home from hospital as quickly as possible with support on hand if needed. The Eden Rehabilitation Project will provide a free of charge care alarm and emergency response package for up to 13 weeks once a patient is discharged from hospital and is being funded by Eden District Council for a year.

The Rehabilitation Project was first introduced in 2013 when some of the start-up costs were funded by Rotary Clubs, enabling patients to use the package free of charge for a six week period.

In the past four years over 200 people have used the service, but projections for the coming year indicate a much higher demand.  Kath Hetherington, Development Manager for the Eden Independent Living Service has been working with Eden District Council to assess the need for the coming year and to secure funding.

Kath said “The project was specifically designed to help patients get home as soon as possible following an illness or trauma (e.g. fall) and a period in hospital. The security, confidence and peace of mind that a care alarm and an emergency response service provide are invaluable, and we know from past experience that getting back home is a great step on the road to recovery. Importantly, it also frees up much needed hospital beds.  According to recent figures, around 5 per cent of hospital beds in the NHS are taken up by people who do not need to be there but have nowhere else to go because of a lack of social care, so anything we can do to prevent bed blocking is a real help.
“We approached Eden District Council with our plans and they were very enthusiastic, seeing the benefits immediately. They have also agreed to fund the service for an extended period. Patients can now access this service for up to 13 weeks free of charge, which makes a real difference. We are now working to ensure all professionals are aware of the extended service and that they know how easy it is to make referrals.”

Most of the EIL referrals come from hospital discharges from the Cumberland Infirmary and community hospitals in Penrith, Alston and Keswick – but they also receive referrals from Eden Valley Hospice, Macmillan nurses, Penrith Day Hospice and various third sector organisations.

Kath continued “We relaunched the new Eden Rehabilitation Project on 1st June and are keen to speak to any professionals who may be able to refer patients to us. More than half of our referrals come from the Eden Community Assessment Team, but we are also keen to engage more with GP surgeries and hospitals.”

Once a referral is made, the EIL team will visit the patient at the earliest opportunity when they are home, to install a care alarm and explain how the emergency response service works. At the end of the prescribed period, the patient has the choice of return the care alarm where the package will be cancelled, OR… alternatively, they can pay for the service to be continued.
Lesley Grisedale, Eden District Council Deputy Leader and Property and Health Portfolio Holder said “This project is a very practical way of helping health care staff in the hospital discharge planning process as well as the professional teams in the community and family carers who support patients.

“It gives the patient independence at home and provides reassurance for both the user and their family. With the growing older population in Eden, we anticipate the need for around 80 packages of support this year. After discussions with EIL it was clear that to maximise the benefit to patients and the health care system, a period beyond 6 weeks care would be more beneficial – we have extended the care packages to 13 weeks to provide the best support possible. Anything that can be done to prevent bed blocking and helping people return home as soon as possible will make a real difference. ”

Caroline Leonard with Angela Reynolds

Caroline Leonard EIL Co-ordinator with Angela Reynolds ICC Manager at EDC

Anyone looking to find out more about the Eden Rehabilitation Project should contact the EIL team on 01768 890657

Great feedback on new emergency response service in Carlisle area

17th November 2016

Emergency Response Service car

In the first five months, the Emergency Response Service launched by the North Cumbria Independent Living (NCIL) team has attended over 800 incidents and helped make great NHS savings in ambulance call out costs.

The ‘North Cumbria Independent Living’ services is provided by Eden Housing Association who already provide a similar service in Eden. The North Cumbria service was launched in Carlisle on 1st June when they took over the emergency response service from Riverside Careline.

Already proving to be very successful, the 24 hour NCIL emergency response service is being managed from a new Carlisle office at the Heysham Gardens Extra Care scheme.

To date the team have responded to over 800 incidents, and only needed to call out an ambulance on 44 occasions.  Dennis Milner the NCIL Co-ordinator said “Around fifty percent of our call outs relate to falls which means the client may need assistance to help get up. In situations like that, we always use a lifting cushion and we’re very well trained in lifting clients safely.

“When we launched the service, we knew lifting cushions would become a key part of our equipment and they are used every day.  Our NCIL Response car is fully equipped to deal with most emergency situations, with other essentials like defibrillators and first aid equipment. All our staff are fully trained on the equipment, lifting and administering first aid.

“What we offer is a valuable lifeline for vulnerable people in the community. We are often able to get to people quicker than an ambulance and where people do not need medical care; we enable them to stay in their own home without the psychological stress of waiting for an ambulance.”

On average the team receive around six call outs a day, but as the number of new clients is continuing to grow, the team are gearing up for more response.

Kath Hetherington, Development Manager for both Eden and North Cumbria Independent Living said “Over 80% of Riverside Careline clients transferred across to our response service. We have also been able to employ eight staff who were previously at Riverside Careline, potentially facing redundancy.

“We’re proud of what we have achieved in our first few months. So far, only 5% of the calls we received needed an ambulance to be called out. In 2011 an NHS ambulance call out cost was around £250, today it will be more, so that’s a massive saving.”

Anyone looking to find out more about the North Cumbria Independent Living Service can contact the team at Heysham Gardens, Carlisle on 01228 580909 or Freephone 0800 061 4201

Emergency response service now live in North Cumbria

1st June 2016

8903589d53d7fe7bc8ffc80a2dd41a0dThe North Cumbria Independent Living team officially took over the emergency response service from Riverside Careline today. The transfer of the emergency response service has been part of a carefully planned strategy to ensure all existing Riverside clients still have the option to access the service.

North Cumbria Independent Living (NCIL)  is a service provided by Eden Housing Association who is successfully running a 24 hour response ‘Independent Living’ service in Eden. In the last two months they have been busy setting up a new Carlisle office at the Heysham Gardens Extra Care scheme and have been recruiting a new staff team to cover Carlisle and surrounding areas. A number of staff have been recruited from Riverside Careline.

Kath Hetherington, Development Manager for both Eden and North Cumbria Independent Living said “We’ve been in daily contact with Careline to make sure the transfer of clients is as smooth as possible and we are pleased to be able to announce that we have taken on 9 staff, 6 of whom have joined us from Careline.  It’s a pleasure to be working with a team that has such breadth of experience and training, right across the care and support sector.”

The North Cumbria Co-ordinator is Dennis Milner who has moved across from our Eden office and also has 5 year’s previous experience working at Riverside Careline. He was joined in the office on the first day by NCIL Responder Tracey Cowell who also had years of experience at Careline and she will be familiar to many of the people NCIL are supporting.

The NCIL Response car is fully equipped to deal with most emergency situations, with essential equipment like defibrillators, lifting cushions and first aid kits.

Commenting on the transition, Kath added “We are pleased that over 80% of the Riverside Emergency Response clients have chosen to transfer to our service.  There has been a lot of work organising the transfer, that includes  individual client visits and regular communication to reassure them of continued service.

“On behalf of the NCIL team, I’d like to express my thanks to the Riverside Careline staff who, throughout the whole process, have been keen to ensure clients receive an uninterrupted service.”

Anyone looking to find out more about the North Cumbria Independent Living Service can contact the team at Heysham Gardens, Carlisle on 01228 580909 or Freephone 0800 061 4201

Great feedback on new response service in Carlisle area

15th April 2016

16e4ffdcb1f03d756b44967a56b19210There has been a speedy reaction to the new Emergency Response Service being offered to customers in North Cumbria. The Eden Independent Living (EIL) team, who will be providing the service from 1st June, is working closely with Riverside to ensure all existing customers are contacted and have the option to transfer to the new service. In the first ten days almost 50% of customers have asked to make the transition, and it’s been growing on a daily basis ever since.

As part of a carefully planned strategy, Riverside contacted customers who use the response service, highlighting Eden Independent Living as an alternative provider of the response service and offering to help them register with EIL.  Letters sent out at the end of March have had a very positive response with 46% of customers getting in touch with Riverside in the first ten days.

Kath Hetherington, Development Manager for Eden Independent Living said “We are in constant contact with the Riverside team, so we know on a daily basis how things are progressing – the response so far has been very encouraging. We are now working together on the next phase, to ensure all remaining customers are contacted.

“It’s very evident that the Riverside Interim Response Team in Carlisle is eager to ensure their customers have a safe and smooth transition to our service and are very committed to working through the list of customers who have not yet been in touch.”

Dean Butterworth, Riverside divisional director in Cumbria says “We are delighted that by partnering with Eden Independent Living we have been able to offer existing customers an alternative response provider, with an established track record. Riverside are running an interim response service to ensure continuity of service for is maintained during the change of provider.

“These are challenging times for many businesses offering support services. The housing sector, health sector and other services are having to adapt and evolve as changes to welfare and other funding streams start to impact on service provision.  As a responsible business we are committed to supporting customers and staff through these changes and finding the best response and resolution.”

Eden Independent Living is a service provided by Eden Housing Association who operates a 24 hour response service in Eden. Extending into North Cumbria, they are opening a new office at their Heysham Gardens Extra Care scheme in Carlisle and are currently recruiting a number of staff including a North Cumbria Co-ordinator who will be based at Heysham Gardens.

Riverside will continue running an interim response service until EIL is fully operational on 1stJune.

Anyone else looking to find out more about any of the EIL services available can contact the Eden Independent Living Team on 01768 890657

Merger means growth of Independent Living service in Eden

28th February 2016

January marks a new beginning for services to support older people living in Eden. The merger of Eden Community Alarms (ECA) with Eden Housing Association was completed in time to start the New Year under the banner of Eden Independent Living (EIL). The official launch took place on Wednesday (20th January) when ECA Patron Lady Inglewood cut the ribbon to open the rebranded office and reception known as ‘Number Twelve’.

For months the joint merger group has been working to ensure a seamless transition of services to customers, as well as working to rebrand the Eden Independent Living Service and the former ECA offices at 12 St Andrews Churchyard in Penrith. Wednesday’s celebration marks the completion of the transition. Launch of merged service

Henry Barker, Chair of Eden Housing Association welcomed guests to the launch by saying “We are here to celebrate the joining together of two great Eden organisations and mark the launch of ‘Number Twelve’ the dedicated Eden Independent Living office. EHA and ECA have a rich independent history but have been collaborators pretty much since both organisations began. Coming together, with staff and volunteers who I believe have a great reputation and are trusted in the local community, we are confident we can make a bigger difference to the customers we serve. Bringing our pooled services together under ‘Eden Independent Living’ allows us to grow and improve the services offered to ensure the older population of Eden, (which is set to grow considerably), can be confident of care and practical support services that can be tailored to their needs. Dovetailing with their own networks of friends and family, and ultimately, enabling people to stay independent and enjoy a lifestyle of their choosing is what EIL is all about. I’d also like to thank ECA Chair David Wood and the Trustees for the open and visionary way they have led ECA during discussions around our joining together and also want to welcome David as a member of the Eden Housing Association Board.”

Speaking on behalf of Eden Community Alarms, Chair David Wood said “Today marks a significant step forward in enabling the vulnerable people of this area to remain independent in their own homes for longer. Irene Kerr, one of the founders of ECA said at the 1989 inaugural launch that she “likened what we were undertaking as very similar to the birth of a new baby, which we would treasure and watch grow into a beautiful child and eventually into a living and giving and much respected adult, taking its place in society.” That is very much what has happened, along with all the difficulties and uncertainties of growing up. John Brown, another founder said much the same thing. He remembers ECA emerging from a time of real multi-agency collaboration in the mid-eighties. Both John and Irene see this merger as the natural, almost inevitable, course of action. In Irene’s words this is more of a marriage than a merger. We are again in a time of a need for real collaboration in the provision of services. A renewed and enlarged Eden Independent Living can take forward that work with confidence, not because it has the technology, important though that is, but because it has the people; people at every level who care about the needs of other people. We are, as one observer remarked, a people organisation. It is people who make the difference between providing an alarm and providing a service. People who assess needs or visit to ensure things are working properly, people in offices ensuring things are done efficiently and people in meetings looking for new opportunities for service.”

The honour of officially cutting the ribbon fell to Lady Inglewood who has been patron of ECA for seven years; she said “It’s absolutely fantastic to be here for the opening. I’ve known ECA for many years and know they do much more than alarms. The merger and change of name is a very positive thing – it makes it much clearer what they do. It’s incredibly important to keep people in their own homes, I’ve seen this first hand in our own family and am certain this change makes great sense and wish everyone involved good luck as we officially open.”

Contact Us:Call: 0800 038 3161 Or: 01768 890657
All calls are recorded for training and resolution purposes

Opening Times

Our general offices opening times are as follows, however our service runs 24/7

Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm
Wed 9.30am – 5pm
Closed Bank Holidays

Contact Us

Eden Housing Association
Blain House, Bridge Lane, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 8QU
Telephone: 0800 038 3161 Email:
All calls are recorded for training and resolution purposes

Website: www.thedesignworks.co.uk

Eden Country Care Ltd is registered in England No. 5750956.Eden Housing Association Ltd is a Registered Society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 and an exempt charity Number No: 28435R