Residents gather for Inter-Scheme Olympics

30th November 2017

To mark Eden Housing Association’s (EHA) twenty-year history, tenant and resident groups across Cumbria were offered a grant to organise local events and activities to celebrate their special birthday. The most recent event was an Inter-Scheme Mini-Olympics challenge for residents living in supported or extra care housing.

Thirty tenants travelled to Penrith Rugby Club for a day packed with fun, games and lunch. Fielding teams were the extra care schemes at Mill Gardens in Kirkby Stephen and Rampkin House in Appleby, plus the supported housing scheme at Sim Court in Penrith.

Whilst it was ‘The Friendly Games’, there was an air of competitive spirit amongst those taking part. Games included Table Pong, Garden Darts with special awards up for grabs in the Hook a Duck and the Welly Wanging competition as well as a trophy for the overall scheme winner.

Commenting on the day, Debbie Wilkinson, Support and Activities Co-ordinator for EHA said “The atmosphere was fantastic, plenty of laughter and there were even some very alternative interpretations for some of the games. Tenants enjoyed lunch and still mustered the energy in the afternoon to complete the games which included the welly wanging competition – the highlight of the day.

“The feedback from tenants has been fabulous, and they are all keen for a rematch next year, hopefully involving more of our schemes.”

EHA Chief Executive John Clasper thanked the EHA Independent Living team for pulling together the event before presenting the prizes.

Hook a Duck champion was Nora Maule from Sim Court in Penrith. Donald Walker from Mill Gardens in Kirkby Stephen was “Wellie Wanger’ champion and Mill Gardens also won the trophy for overall champions. Sim Court put in a tremendous effort coming second, pipping Rampkin House who came third. Residents all received a certificate and ‘gold’ medal for taking part.

The victorious team from Mill Gardens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joan Sowerby tries out the welly wanging competition


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

Celebrations for retired farmer Billy

24th August 2016

care alarm service helps Billy stay independentIt’s been a busy week for retired farmer William (Billy) Armstrong. Last Monday he turned 100 and marked the day as he would any other Monday – with a trip to Carlisle’s H&H  Auction to ‘watch cattle trade’ and meet up with friends for lunch. Billy still drives and is out and about several days a week, visiting friends. He is fiercely independent and enjoys life in his own home knowing he has the security of the Eden Independent Living care alarm service on hand if needed.

Billy Armstrong married his wife Edna in 1946 and farmed at Plumpton Hall for fifty years before retiring. He has three daughters and four grandchildren and still visits his cousin for dinner regularly each week.

Whilst it is now 34 years since Billy retired from farming, he can still be found every Monday at H&H Auction in Carlisle, and every Tuesday at Hopes Auction in Wigton. “I still like to see how fat cattle and fat sheep are doing and I catch up with a few friends for lunch while I am there.  In my day a cow cost £30, today it is more like £1200 – times have changed.”

When asked what was the most far reaching change in his lifetime, Billy was definite – electricity. He said “I put electricity into Plumpton Hall in 1947. Until then you needed candles and matches. We take it so for granted today – until there’s a power cut!”

A popular gent, Billy celebrated with a party at the weekend with friends and family. He has received over 125 cards – including one from Her Majesty the Queen which his daughters have already had framed.

In honour of his centenary Sarah Greenop, Independent Living Support Advisor for the Eden Independent Living service called in with a hamper of treats. Sarah is also from a farming background and the pair discussed farming history and mutual connections. Sarah Greenop said “I’ve known Billy and his family for some time, but it was only 15 months ago that he first signed up to receive our care alarm service. It gives Billy and his family that extra reassurance to know there is someone at the end of a phone and all he needs to do is push a button.”

Commenting on the care alarm service Billy said “I visited a friend one day and he told me he had fallen and laid on the floor for almost 2 hours before anyone knew or helped him. I also have other friends who use the service so it seemed a sensible thing to do. I keep my pendant in my pocket all the time, it’s just part of me, and if I ever need it, I know it’s just there.”

Billy still lives in Plumpton in a bungalow built specially for him. Billy said “When Peter Montgomery was developing houses here, I asked if he would build me a bungalow – and he did.” Billy can now farm from his chair – across the garden are fields of sheep he can count every day.

For more information about the Eden Independent Living Service, contact the team on 01768 890657,  or call in to see them at 12 St Andrews Churchyard, Penrith.

100 year old farmer keeps active with his alarm

17th August 2016

Century celebrations for retired farmer Billy

It’s been a busy week for retired farmer William (Billy) Armstrong. Last Monday he turned 100 Care alarm user celebrates 100th birthdayand marked the day as he would any other Monday – with a trip to Carlisle’s H&H  Auction to ‘watch cattle trade’ and meet up with friends for lunch. Billy still drives and is out and about several days a week, visiting friends. He is fiercely independent and enjoys life in his own home knowing he has the security of the Eden Independent Living care alarm service on hand if needed.

Billy Armstrong married his wife Edna in 1946 and farmed at Plumpton Hall for fifty years before retiring. He has three daughters and four grandchildren and still visits his cousin for dinner regularly each week.

Whilst it is now 34 years since Billy retired from farming, he can still be found every Monday at H&H Auction in Carlisle, and every Tuesday at Hopes Auction in Wigton. “I still like to see how fat cattle and fat sheep are doing and I catch up with a few friends for lunch while I am there.  In my day a cow cost £30, today it is more like £1200 – times have changed.”

When asked what was the most far reaching change in his lifetime, Billy was definite – electricity. He said “I put electricity into Plumpton Hall in 1947. Until then you needed candles and matches. We take it so for granted today – until there’s a power cut!”

A popular gent, Billy celebrated with a party at the weekend with friends and family. He has received over 125 cards – including one from Her Majesty the Queen which his daughters have already had framed.

In honour of his centenary Sarah Greenop, Independent Living Support Advisor for the Eden Independent Living service called in with a hamper of treats. Sarah is also from a farming background and the pair discussed farming history and mutual connections. Sarah Greenop said “I’ve known Billy and his family for some time, but it was only 15 months ago that he first signed up to receive our care alarm service. It gives Billy and his family that extra reassurance to know there is someone at the end of a phone and all he needs to do is push a button.”

Commenting on the care alarm service Billy said “I visited a friend one day and he told me he had fallen and laid on the floor for almost 2 hours before anyone knew or helped him. I also have other friends who use the service so it seemed a sensible thing to do. I keep my pendant in my pocket all the time, it’s just part of me, and if I ever need it, I know it’s just there.”

Billy still lives in Plumpton in a bungalow built specially for him. Billy said “When Peter Montgomery was developing houses here, I asked if he would build me a bungalow – and he did.” Billy can now farm from his chair – across the garden are fields of sheep he can count every day.

For more information about the Eden Independent Living Service, contact the team on 01768 890657, visit the website www.eil.org.uk    or call in to see them at 12 St Andrews Churchyard, Penrith.

Volunteer lunch celebration

13th June 2016

c4a059b5f15c04087382939908e001d9It’s time to celebrate! This year’s Annual Volunteer Week was extended by five days to incorporate events in the run up to the Patrons Lunch on 12th June which honours Her Majesty the Queen in her 90th year and all the work she does as Patron of organisations.  As a mark of appreciation for the hard work of their volunteers, Eden Independent Living hosted their early ‘Patrons Lunch’ at Mrs Millers Tearoom, Culgaith, serving a truly British Buffet.

Recognising the support of their volunteers, the Eden Independent Living team hosts an annual summer lunch at a venue that supports local businesses. Their inaugural lunch was held at Dalemain many years ago and has been followed in future years with a train ride and lunch at Alston, a boat ride and lunch at Glenridding and last year a trip to Lowther Castle. This year the volunteer celebration was linked in with the Patrons Lunch.

Kath Hetherington, Development Manager for the EIL service said “We have many clients born in the same era as the Queen and they often chat to our volunteers about their memories of a very fast moving century so it seemed a very appropriate time to have lunch.

“The support of our 20+ volunteers is very valuable, they cover the whole of Eden District, so we like to host our events somewhere different each time. The lunches are one of only a few occasions when we can get everyone together and it’s a great opportunity for long standing volunteers to share stories with new volunteers. As our service has developed and extended we’re seeing more new volunteers coming forward, so it’s important that they get to meet as many of our team as possible.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering at Eden Independent Living should contact the team on 01768 890657.

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

EIL volunteers old and new celebrated during Volunteer week

1st June 2016

011fcf5a57e044614f5357860ff9b002This week is the 32ndAnnual Volunteer Week, celebrating the support given by more than 21 million people across the country. At Eden Independent Living (EIL) based in St Andrews Square, Penrith, it is volunteers who have played a vital part in the success of the organisation.

Kath Hetherington, Development Manager for the EIL service said “We’re currently supported by 20 volunteers who are a shining example of how people can make a big difference to communities. In Cumbria there are over 50,000 volunteers who make a financial contribution to Cumbria of around £28.5million per year. Our volunteers enabled us to deliver an efficient and effective alarm service and all share similar characteristics, wanting to make a difference, having a great sense of purpose and knowing their contribution is of value.

“Most of our volunteers have been with us for years when we were Eden Community Alarms. They’ve stayed with us as we developed into the wider Eden Independent Living Service and it’s also reassuring to see we are still attracting new volunteers who work on reception and as visiting volunteers checking on alarms and clients. Eden is a sprawling district so we have volunteers working from as far as Alston, Appleby and Kirby Stephen then right across to Keswick and Low Hesket.”

Reception volunteer Dianna Holliday has always been active so ten years ago, when her family needed less help at work, she chose to volunteer at Eden Community Alarms. Dianna said “Mum benefitted from the Eden Community Alarm service and really appreciated the regular check-up visits which were done by volunteers; they were always supportive and friendly and the alarm service is like a reassuring blanket for clients and their families, it’s great to be part of that team.”

Sheila Hutchinson is one of the EIL ‘visiting volunteers’ and has been out and about in the community for eleven years – it’s a job she continues to enjoy. “I like meeting people so it’s a great role for me. We make regular visits to check on the equipment, ensuring the pendants and back up batteries are fully operational. There are clients I’ve seen for years so you do get to know them quite well.”

With thirteen years’ service, Barbara Manton is one of the longest serving volunteers on reception. She has noticed a difference since merging with Eden Independent Living. “The phones are very busy and it’s no longer just alarm enquiries, we’re also getting a lot of calls about the handy person service, the gardening and aids for daily living.”

The newest volunteer recruit has only been with EIL since February.  Brian Hardy retired two years ago and is a proud member of ‘The Old Codgers Club’ raising money for charity. He was looking for something meaningful to fill his time and saw a notice in the EIL window asking for volunteers. Brian said “My wife still works so it was an opportunity to do something useful. It’s easy to give a couple of pounds to charity, but a lot harder and a greater commitment to be a regular volunteer. There’s a lot more going on here than people may imagine and there’s a steady flow of people coming through the door, every day is different.”

Unusually, Volunteer week has been extended by five days as a celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s lifetime of service to more than 600 charities and organisations to which The Queen acts as a Patron. There are parties planned across the country and as part of their annual thank you to the volunteer team, Eden Independent Living is hosting a lunch at Mrs Millers Tearoom, Culgaith, a rare opportunity for all the volunteers to get together at one time.

Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering at Eden Independent Living should contact the team on 01768 890657.

Eden Independent Living gardening service is rosy

28th April 2016

Eden Independent Living gardening service has a rosy future ahead

The new office of Eden Independent Living (EIL) has a fantastic view across St Andrews Churchyard with crocuses in bloom in early spring, signifying the change of season and a growing number of calls for the EIL gardening service.gardening team

Eden Independent Living is designed to provide a range of services to help older residents stay independent in their own home. Gardening is the most recent addition to the portfolio of services on offer, introduced because of feedback and research.

Statistics on how many people actually enjoy keeping on top of their gardens vary. The Horticultural Trade Association says there are around 22 million domestic gardens in the UK, but according to Kantar data, there are only 12 million adults regularly enjoy gardening, most of whom are over 55’s. For aging residents across the UK, keeping on top of the garden as they get older, often becomes a frustration and a worry.

Kath Hetherington, Development Manager for Eden Independent Living Service said “we know the Eden population is aging quickly, we’ve seen a 20.4% increase in over 65’s since 2001 and that rate of growth is predicted to continue faster than anywhere else in Cumbria.* For those with a garden, there’s the concern of finding a reliable pair of hands to help prepare the garden for spring. That’s why we introduced the gardening service.”

Now firmly established, with gardeners covering the whole of Eden area, the EIL gardening service has grown 16% in the last twelve months. The team are expecting further growth this year as the two gardeners get more established.

The trust in the service is also growing with 65% of customers using the service on a regular basis. The most frequent tasks are general tidying of borders and edges and general maintenance, though at this time of year, pruning back winter shrubs and preparing lawns are also regular tasks.

Kath said “People like to be proud of their tidy garden and that doesn’t need to change when you get older, a little help can make a big difference. As demand for our gardening service is still growing, we predicted we’d need extra capacity, especially in the lead up to spring.

“The EIL gardening team is now up to full speed, using local gardeners Greg Corrie from Eden Externals in Penrith and Adam Tracey from Kirkby Stephen. Greg recently started his own business and the EIL team were keen to support him.  Adam has been providing gardening tips and training courses for Eden Housing Association for residents for three years and has always had great feedback.”

The Eden Independent Living (EIL) Service was launched three and a half years ago by Eden Housing Association to provide care, support and additional services like the handy person service, decorating and gardening. Last year, EIL saw a 20% increase in the number of people using the service. With continued growth across all services, EIL is set to bloom.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the gardening service should contact the Eden Independent Living Team on 01768 890657

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