02 May 2012 Last updated at 00:00

Lifeline service celebrates 25 years

A service that offers a lifeline to some of the Island’s most vulnerable is celebrating its silver anniversary.

Since its launch in 1987, Wightcare Services has helped thousands of Island residents to live independently in their own homes with its 24-hour emergency community alarm and response service.
It was launched on 21 April 1987 with just 50 clients, since then it has grown and developed its lifeline services - today supporting more than 2,500 people.
Trained professionals

Wightcare Services operates a 24-hour community alarm service from its monitoring centre in Newport. Trained professionals are on hand to answer calls from vulnerable residents in need of support. It also operates a mobile warden response service for people who do not have a family member or friends able to respond in an emergency as well as an out of hours emergency call centre for the council. This deals with a range of council calls from social care issues to highways emergencies.
Over the years Wightcare has played an important role in saving numerous lives and assisting people to remain in their own homes. It works closely with the emergency services and more recently moved into the Telecare market, offering clients a range of equipment to make it easier for them to live independently at home.
To mark Wightcare’s 25th birthday, Marj Parfitt an employee who has been with the service since its launch in 1987 presented a cake to 93 year-old Norah Williams who has been with the service since its commencement. Also present was Wightcare operations manager, Lorraine Bower, commissioning manager for safe and secure homes Peter Hopkins and the council’s cabinet member responsible for adult social care, Councillor Roger Mazillius.
Helping vulnerable residents to stay safe

Commenting on the service, Councillor Mazillius, said: “This is a vital service that supports one of the council’s key corporate priorities of supporting older and vulnerable residents to remain safe and secure in their own homes.
“In the past 25 years the service has been a lifeline to thousands of residents. Users have the peace of mind of knowing that they are only the push of a button away from a dedicated and skilled team of professionals who can respond swiftly to a variety of needs.
“I would like to thank all of the staff who have worked so hard over the years to make Wightcare the success it is and thank Mrs Williams for helping us to celebrate this milestone. The number of clients is testament to the peace of mind this lifeline provides.”
Residents who think they – or a member of their family – could benefit from Wightcare Services should call (01983) 821105, email: wightcare@iow.gov.uk or visit www.iwight.com for more information.

Marj Parfitt of Wightcare showing Norma Williams an album of press cuttings featuring Wightcare's work over the years
Marj Parfitt of Wightcare showing Norma Williams an album of press cuttings featuring Wightcare's work over the years
  • Wightcare Services was launched on 21 April 1987.
  • The community alarm service is a 24 hour, 365 day a year, monitoring service that works via a community alarm unit connected to a telephone line.
  • The mobile warden service is a 24 hour, 365 day a year, emergency response team for people that do not have a family/friend able to respond in an emergency.
Isle of Wight