You may remember the old proverb which describes how the kingdom was lost all for the want of a horseshoe nail. This is the aim of all preventive services, looking at the longer term outcomes in personal wellbeing, health and financial cost by intervening with a positive action at the first opportunity. Seemingly small actions can often prevent unwelcome outcomes and this is where SHOP comes into its own.

When we receive a referral for support with practical tasks such as shopping and cleaning and put a SHOP Supporter in place, our experience has shown that quite quickly, the relationship that is created, results in a positive outcome for individual wellbeing. Having a SHOP Supporter carrying out regular visits allows people to keep on top of the housework and make sure the cupboards are stocked but much more importantly, having a regular caller, invested in you, increases your sense of self . This has an impact on your wider mental and physical wellbeing, playing a part in keeping you feeling independent and in control of your own life and choices.

SHOP went live in March 2018 continuing development along the way and after Covid-19 hit and the first lockdown sent us and the rest of the world reeling in 2020, we have now regrouped and reset and are working to meet the practical support needs of older people.

I have a small staff team in addition to our amazing SHOP Supporters and we work closely with our customers to create the support package that works well for them. Communication is always key so we keep in touch with everyone throughout the process, making sure they know what to expect.

SHOP has gone from strength to strength but of course we haven’t done it alone. Knowsley is a great place to work as there is always information and help on hand. We work closely with One Knowsley and with their support we were able to engage with Kindred LCR. Their social investment allowed us to put more of our plans into action.

From the inception of the SHOP service we knew we had a very valid service model, creating immense social impact and making a real difference not only to the lives of the people who use the service but to the local economy and to statutory services.

Our practical support services invest in the futures of the people we work with and that means that SHOP can keep on replacing that horseshoe nail.