A GROUP working tirelessly to crack down on elderly abuse desperately needs more volunteers.
Action on Elderly Abuse launched a support group in Lancing in the summer to help rescue elderly residents suffering abuse.
Since its conception, a group of local volunteers have worked tirelessly to get the project off the ground but more volunteers are now required.
Many of those who have so far volunteered have witnessed abuse – either in institutions or first-hand.
Sue Russell is one of the volunteers who suffered abuse in the past. She said: “It is a thing near to my heart.
“I went through it for years so it is quite emotional for me. I just want to help people as I have been helped.”
Shirley Harmer witnessed abuse when she worked in a psychiatric hospital, in a different part of the country, before she retired.
She said: “I saw a lot of abuse in the health service.
“I did do some complaining when I left but not as much as I should have done.”
The innovative community-based scheme in Lancing is the first of its kind and hopes to encourage those suffering from abuse in Adur and Worthing to come forward.
The volunteers who have kick-started the project have undergone a series of training sessions to help them identify different forms of abuse.
Alongside physical and mental abuse, other types include financial abuse, neglect and discrimination
Gloria Eveleigh, project co-ordinator, said: “We need to raise awareness in the community about abuse and we need to be aware of the situations that can be there.”
The next stage of the project is to recruit volunteers who are willing to join in with a buddying scheme, which will see them going into nursing homes, hospitals and private homes to talk to the elderly.
The group meets on the third Thursday of every month at 1pm in Lancing Parish Hall, South Street, Lancing.
For more information, call Austin Edwards on 01903 753328 or Amanda Jones on 01903 522091.