Welcome to Voices & Choices
Voices and Choices is a Registered Charity and Community Interest Company (CIC) based in Chesham, Buckinghamshire. It has been set up to provide information and advice to help people to remain in their homes with the help and support of community services and other agencies. It will also provide reassurance to family carers living outside Buckinghamshire.
Safe and Sound at Home
It is often the little things that go wrong which affect whether we feel in control of our lives. It could be the cobwebs, the garden, our hair, or the family insisting we can’t cope.
Whatever matters to you, we will help by offering friendly, impartial information, advice or advocacy which helps you stay safe and sound in your own home.
Need our help?
Whatever you need: a trusted tradesman, access to a leisure or social activity, advocacy to talk to a health provider, or any other impartial information, advice and support, we can help you find safe services to maintain your independence in your home. If you are elderly, or have a physical or learning disability, a mental health problem, or you are living alone, and you live in Amersham, Chesham, Gt Missenden or Prestwood and surrounding parishes, we are here to help.
We need you
Will you join us today to help us provide a service that will touch a need in the lives of most families at some point? Could you volunteer a couple of hours of your time to visit people in their own homes, answer telephone queries, or help populate our information hub? Would you give a few pounds a month to help provide the support necessary for people to remain living independently? Our aim is to ensure people feel safe and sound enough to stay in their own home.
Voices & Choices News
The Voices & Choices stand at the Volunteers’ Day on Saturday 30 September in Chesham Town Hall. A busy day with many people coming along to find out more about volunteering and fundraising for local charities. If you’d like to know more, visit the Volunteering page on the Voices & Choices website.
Burglary in Chesham
On Thursday 5 October, between around 2pm and 2.15pm, a number of offenders have reversed their vehicle down the driveway of a property in Larks Rise. The offenders entered the garage, climbed through a window in order to access the rear grounds and gained entry to the property by smashing the rear patio doors. A search of the bungalow has taken place and a cabinet and sum of cash were stolen and placed into the waiting vehicle. A black VW Golf with tinted windows and registration beginning LO08, may have been used during the incident.
We would like to hear from anyone who has any information or may have seen anyone acting suspiciously around the vicinity of Larks Rise. Anyone who recognises the description of the vehicle should call the Thames Valley Police enquiry centre on 101 quoting reference number ‘43170295798’.
Equifax Announces Cybersecurity Incident Involving Consumer Information
Find out what you can do to make yourself safer – see the Equifax post in our Latest News. Anyone concerned that their data may be affected can contact Equifax by visiting the Equifax website for further information.
Sign up to Thames Valley Alerts
To receive crime and policing updates directly from your local Neighbourhood Team, as well as more crime and policing issues, sign up to the service online at: Thames Valley Alert or speak with one of your Neighbourhood Team.
Spotting, avoiding and reporting scams
Independent Age has launched a new, free guide, called Scamwise: Spotting, avoiding and reporting scams, to help older people and their families recognise scams and know what to do if they spot one or if they think they have been the victim of a scam, as well as advice on how to protect themselves from being scammed.
How you can help
Join our Newsletter Today!As we develop this exciting new service why not stay in touch? We can bring the website to you every month keeping you up to date on what information and services are available and other news.
Contact UsWould you like to learn more about what we do? Perhaps you would like to participate in some way? Send us a message and we can get back in contact with you.
VolunteeringMake a difference to people that live in or near your community. We have a number of exciting roles ranging from advocacy advisor to website development. If you are willing to provide a few hours a week to help people remain independently in their own homes then we have just the role for you.
FundraisingCan you help us to raise funds? Would you like to make a donation to help Voices and Choices develop services in Buckinghamshire? We need your help to build this service.
Case Study: Just a Gardener!
Just a Gardener!
Mrs G was recently widowed. She lives in a family house with a large garden that was her husband’s pride and joy. She is distressed she cannot keep the garden to the standard he did, but does feel closest to him when she is there. Her children who do not live close by, are worried that the house may be targeted if it looks uncared for and are suggesting that she move to sheltered accommodation. She would prefer to stay safe and sound in the family home. She needs someone to talk to and help her explore her options. Voices and Choices can help Mrs G work through the plethora of choices: a gardener; male or female: the garden maintained or changed: a shared vegetable patch? Would she like Voices and Choices to advertise for a gardener to protect her privacy? Would she like a volunteer to sit alongside her when she talks to prospective gardeners?
Voices and Choices can help at any of these stages, from providing a list of local gardeners, visiting her at home to support her through the entire process and, if it goes wrong, to help her complain about an unsatisfactory service.
Following our work with Mrs G, we ask her whether we can provide some reassurance to her family. With her permission we contact the family, in Durham and Sydney, and tell them of our work with Mrs G. Both children are concerned that family commitments and distance mean they cannot drop everything if Mrs G requires further help. We can offer the family a number of choices to give them peace of mind. We can ring her on an agreed timetable to see how things are going. We can contact her immediately there is a local problem, snow-fall, flooding, etc. We can help problem solve if the family ring to say there is something we can help with, or we can send the families our newsletter so they have can keep up-to-date with what we do. At this stage the family decide they would like the newsletter and would like us to contact Mrs G monthly to see how things are going. We are aware that both children have lasting powers of attorney and in the event of a deterioration will contact them immediately with details of local services.
Case Study: Who will feed the cats?
Who will feed the cats?
Jane has multiple sclerosis. She lives alone, supported by her sister who lives locally but has a young family. Jane has the opportunity to go away for a fortnight on a holiday arranged through her support group. Jane has not had a holiday for a long time and the logistical problems of her MS means she has not found a trip she feels she can go on alone. The love of her life is her two cats. Jane lives in a ground-floor flat with access to a small patio but no garden so the cats are house cats. Jane does not feel she can go away and leave her cats for a fortnight and it is too much to ask her sister to cope with the feeding – and the litter-tray. Jane rings Voices and Choices to ask if they have any suggestions. The office volunteer provides details of a couple of services that can help. Jane can either ring them herself or we can do it on her behalf – whichever she prefers. Jane rings the services and finds one that is right for her and her cats. She can go away with a quiet mind.
Case Study: My Doctor does not listen to me
My Doctor does not listen to me!
George has been upset since the breakdown of his marriage last year. Although he is coping at work, he finds the weekends very hard and sometimes spends the whole time in bed. He has been to see his doctor but she seems to be very unsympathetic. Because he is managing at work, she doesn’t believe he is becoming depressed, and has hinted that he stays in bed at the weekends because his wife is no longer around to cook for him. He contacts Voices and Choices to see whether we can offer any support for him. A volunteer visits George and together they work on writing down some evidence to show what is happening for George. The volunteer goes to the GP with George and supports him with his discussion with the doctor, at one point giving George a gentle prompt. George is aware that he has put on a lot of weight and one of the options the GP suggests is a prescription for weight watchers or slimming world which might also help find him some new friends. The GP also provides a couple of treatment options for George to consider.
Voices & Choices CIC
The White Hill Centre, White Hill
Chesham, Bucks. HP5 1AG
Tel: 01494 784566
Copyright ©2016 Voices & Choices CIC
Voices and Choices CIC is a company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales. Company No: 9374009
Registered Charity No: 1172724 CIO
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