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Group works to help Ilkley elderly to get around
The difficulties faced by older people trying to get around in Ilkley are being studied by an organisation working to improve services in the area.
The LS29 Mutual Support Network is bringing community groups and other organisations together at its February meeting in a bid to solve local transport problems for elderly residents with limited mobility.
Those who work with community bodies and service providers in the town say they are coming across elderly residents who are struggling to get out of their home because of a shortage of transport suitable for their needs.
Although the town has a hard-working community transport service, which runs shopping trips and provides its minibuses for other journeys, there is concern many residents cannot get out to leisure activities and even for healthy exercise recommended by health professionals.
Residents who use taxis may also need special assistance getting into and out of the vehicle.
Manager of the Clarke Foley Centre community venue for the over 50s, Judith Ellis, said she frequently received telephone calls from residents who wanted to attend activities at the centre, but did not know how they could get there.
She said: “I’m getting the calls and I know there are people want to come but can’t. It’s because of a lack of transport. I feel I’m at the sharp end of it.” Mrs Ellis says an Ilkley resident who contacted her recently had been advised by a health professional to attend gentle exercise sessions at the Clarke Foley Centre – but found no help was available to get there.
The LS29 Mutual Support Network plans to debate the issue at its next meeting, at the Clarke Foley Centre, Cunliffe Road, Ilkley, from 10.30am to noon on Thursday, February 14.
The network is open to all older people’s groups, services and agencies in the LS29 postcode area.
Suggestions made by some have so far included promoting informal volunteering opportunities for local drivers and helpers, working with taxi businesses to raise awareness of older passengers’ needs, sharing transport with other organisations, and encouraging more people to volunteer for the Ilkley and District Community Transport scheme.
Contact Julie Lintern of Kivca (Keighley & Ilkley Voluntary and Community Action on (07950) 180049 or (01535) 612511 for details of the LS29 network, or contact the Kivca and Ilkley Good Neighbours office, Riddings Road, Ilkley, on (01943) 603348.