Friday, 27 April 2012

Dorset's Silver Line service could save lives

ESTHER Rantzen’s planned telephone counselling service for the elderly, could save lives according to a Dorset home help service.
The ChildLine founder has described The Silver Line as a “telephone befriending service” to combat loneliness and give older people a point of contact where they can access information about other organisations and get help with serious problems, as well as build friendships.
Samantha Acton, who set up Domestic Angels 10 years ago, said: “We see elderly folk all the time that are lonely and isolated – what Esther is doing could save someone’s life.
“In our experience of dealing with elderly people there seems to be a stigma attached to contacting some organizations.
“Esther is avoiding the language of the care agencies and doesn’t talk down to people. Older people have a lifetime of experience and knowledge that is often forgotten.”
It is hoped The Silver Line will be up and running by the end of the year.

As printed in the Bournemouth Echo 27.4.12

Monday, 2 April 2012

Angels call on Cameron to help at home

Tax breaks would protect cleaners and help families
Dorset home help service Domestic Angels is urging David Cameron to follow up his interest in offering tax breaks to families who employ domestic help.
The Prime Minister heard about the tax credit-style scheme used in Sweden where cleaners charge their customers slightly less than their normal rate and claim the rest back from the government.
“Not only does the system make domestic help affordable for more families it offers greater protection to workers by encouraging them to register for tax and come out of the black market,” says Domestic Angels owner Samantha Acton.
“Politicians like the system because they can say it’s about getting people back to work, but the benefits go deeper than that. Many families are time-poor so if parents and grandparents can finish work and go back to a home that’s straightened out they can have more time to spend with children and grandchildren, to cook fresh food and be with their families.”
Samantha also says the people who chose to work in domestic services would be better served by a system of tax breaks.
“Many cleaners work cash in hand because they think they’re better off, but they’re probably not. If they work ‘on the books’ they’re able to claim Working Tax Credit and are likely to get their National Insurance stamp paid so they can claim state pension when they retire.
“Ideas like this are what underpin our values as a society, they reflect the way we want to be and it’s important to reinforce those values to create good order in society.”