A Hampshire charity offers a free service which provides practical home security and safety assistance to the elderly and vulnerable, helping them to feel safe in their homes.
The Blue Lamp Trust, a not-for-profit organization, runs the Bobby Scheme which sends fitters to the homes of the elderly and vulnerable across the county to carry out full safety and crime-prevention surveys, give reassurance and offer specific advice to improve home safety.
The Bobby Scheme is supported by Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire Fire and Rescue and every fitter is fully police vetted, wears a uniform and carries an identification card.
John Eldridge is one of the Bobby Scheme fitters. “Everything we do at the Bobby Scheme is about improving safety in the home,” said John, a former policeman who is also dementia-friendly trained. “I get a lot of referrals from Age UK but also from the police, women’s groups, groups for the visually impaired and other disabilities, and by word of mouth. Anyone over the age of 65 or who falls within a category of vulnerability can be referred to us.”
The Blue Lamp Trust raises money for the Bobby Scheme through sponsorship, donations, carrying out assessment for taxi licence applicants and training for business drivers.
Since the scheme started in 1998, Bobby Scheme fitters have visited more than 25,000 homes across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.