A caring freemason from the Hexham area has developed a system to help vulnerable and older people get help and support when they need it.
Arthur Skingsley from Sinderhope is part of the Masonic Meals on Wheels service and every Sunday he volunteers his time to distribute lunches to pensioners and widows of Northumberland freemasons.
After talking to several widows, he realised that many of them didn’t have any family living locally that they could call if they needed help for things that might happen in their homes like blown fuses or leaking taps.
After involving all the masonic lodges in Hexham, he came up with a simple contact post card that residents keep near their phone in case help is needed. The card gives the telephone numbers of Arthur, and his friend Norman Wicks who have already been called out voluntarily to help two pensioners.
Norman helped a lady with a broken garage door and Arthur has fitted a loud doorbell in a lady’s home who suffers from dementia and couldn’t hear the door knocks because her TV was turned up so loud.
“The cards are there to give reassurance that help is only a phone call away. Of course, we aren’t trying to be an emergency service and we always explain that but for things that many of us would take for granted, we may be able to help or know someone who can,” said Arthur.
“We hope to expand this scheme to more people in Hexham once our freemasons meetings start again after COVID.”
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