The National Casework Service offers support for the most vulnerable in acute difficulty: particularly those suffering from dementia, disability, social isolation, or those with complex care needs. Demand for this service has increased significantly over the past year. The Casework service has thus far been supported and implemented by over 50 volunteers, who carry out assessment visits, follow-up with support interventions and sacrifice significant amounts of time and effort to support vulnerable older people.
Until this point, both services have been managed on a voluntary basis by Judy Arnold-Boakes, MBE, founder President and Co-Patron, but this arrangement is no longer feasible. Need for the service has grown, driven both by the economic crisis and by a retired population that is living on less money than expected. Currently, Age Concern España has direct contact with 15,000 British nationals a year. Therefore, there is even greater necessity for a professional service with strategic direction and connections in order to maximize the benefits and potential of the service.
BRITISH CONSULATE/AGE CONCERN PARTNERSHIP PROJECT (BC/ACPP)
As a result of these issues, Age Concern España, Age UK and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office have entered into a joint project to bring greater capacity and a more professional approach to the service. The British Consulate network has access to over 990,000 British nationals with 600,000 British nationals over the age of 45 in Spain and it was felt that a ´One Stop Shop´ service was required to deal with the complex issues experienced by the British national population in Spain.
To manage the project a Country Casework Manager has been recruited who has access to key stakeholders such as the Ambassador, Consuls, the Spanish Red Cross, the Madrid business community and other key ‘movers and shakers’ in the NGO sector.
The Country Casework Manager´s role within this project is the overall management of the service, including developing strategy, fundraising, stakeholder communications, training and volunteer recruitment. The aim of the project is to ensure representative coverage and a high quality service across the whole of Spain. Currently, there is an ongoing recruitment campaign in order to steadily increase the network of Federation volunteer caseworkers.