Saltbox began to develop its work with older people in 2007 through the CareLink project, with an initial grant to develop and trial a telephone monitoring and befriending service over a two-year period in Stoke-on-Trent. The trial was such a success that the Big Lottery Fund agreed to fund the service for a further three years.
During the three years of Lottery funding we supported 1551 vulnerable, frail and older people to maintain independent living and healthier lifestyles. This support consisted of over 24,000 monitoring calls every year, delivered with the support of more than 30 locally recruited and trained volunteers. Alongside the calls, we also made over 560 referrals to other supporting organisations where additional care needs were identified. Many of those referrals brought to light declines in health or welfare, which could otherwise have caused an urgent crisis, often requiring medical intervention, an unplanned hospital stay or removal from home on safety grounds.