A SUPPORT service has been launched to help vulnerable people regain their independence.

The British Red Cross service First Call, support at home has been launched in Torfaen, and is one of 12 places in the UK where the service is available and is the only one in Wales.

Funded by international social innovation charity Nesta and the Big Lottery Fund, the service has staff and volunteers offering a free telephone support and signposting, but that initial contact can lead to continuing support including home visits, shopping, light housework, prescription collection and referral to other services.

A number of these supports are not available free of charge to people who do not qualify for a package of care.

This can lead people to experience delayed discharges from hospital especially when people don’t have family and friends to support them.

The service was launched at an event at Llanyrafon Manor in Cwmbran and was supported by Torfaen mayor Cllr Jessica Powell.

British Red Cross business partnerships and development manager for Wales Lisa Kenny said: “Torfaen’s First Call service is one of a number of First Call projects being developed across the UK, but the only one in Wales.

“It will look to help all people but particularly those living in Blaenavon, those with sensory and physical impairment and those with chaotic lifestyles, to help them tackle the difficulties that might prevent them from living independent, safe and full lives at home.

“People can self-refer or be referred by other organisations and health and social care professionals.”

Torfaen Mayo,r Cllr Jessica Powell, added: “It’s great to see another fantastic example of the Third Sector supporting people within the communities of Torfaen.

“The Red Cross’ First Call service will help to improve the well-being of vulnerable people at a time of crisis in their lives.

“First Call joins a number of other complementary support services run from the Red Cross’ office in Cwmbran.”

For more information about First Call, Support at Home, call 01633 833820 or email Cwmbran@redcross.org.uk.