Councillor’s plans to reach out to elderly residents

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THE new councillor of St Helen’s Ward is on a mission to reach out to older people in the community who may be isolated or vulnerable.

Councillor Andrew Batsford is launching his campaign “St Helen’s Cares”, and over the next month will be calling on residents of St Helens to contact him to form a bank of local people who would be willing to lend a hand.

He said: “This is a wake-up call to highlight the plight of elderly people and bring a sense of community to St Helens.

“I want to form a group of residents so that if they know of someone who is struggling, we can mobilise people from the local community.

“It also means using the resources of the council in a more personal manner.”

Cllr Batsford was inspired to take action after meeting Dorothy Walters, 85, of Park View, while campaigning during the local elections.

Her husband passed away two years ago, and he heard how she was struggling with the up-keep of her house and garden, and promised to come back and help whether he won or not.

Mrs Walters said: “The days can be very lonely with only a few visits from my nieces in London once in a while.

“I love my home and don’t want to leave it.”

A month after the election he has made good on his promise returning with a band of volunteers.

These included young people from Xtrax young people’s centre, two local residents of St Helens and park rangers, who together cleared and reclaimed her gardens.

Cllr Batsford said: “I want this day of action at Dorothy’s home to be a starting point to encourage St Helens residents and local schools to reach out, help and support our long-serving residents of Hastings.”

If you would like to join the “St Helen’s Cares” campaign to support isolated residents of St Helens contact Cllr Andrew Batsford on cllr.andy.batsford@hastings.gov.uk or 07917693091.