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New group is HAPI to help older people in Haverhill

Chairman of HAPI, Gavin Hodge
Chairman of HAPI, Gavin Hodge

A new action group has been formed to look after the interests of older people in the Haverhill community, especially with regard to their health and wellbeing.

Haverhill Action Partnership Initiative (HAPI) has been developed from the Haverhill Action Group and brings together a number of organisations which offer services, activities and support for older people.

Chairman, Gavin Hodge said: “We need to build the strength of HAPI by drawing in more organisations and individuals who share our passion for supporting older people, combating loneliness, encouraging older people to stay physically and mentally active and developing new services and activities.

“We plan to ensure that the voice and views of local older people will be heard where they need to be heard.”

Mr Hodge added that he is particularly keen to hear from older individuals who are service users for any of the services mentioned and might like to join HAPI so that it truly reflects the views of older people.

Organisations that attended the inaugural meeting included Age UK Suffolk, Community Action Suffolk, The Voluntary Network, Sue Ryder, West Suffolk Association for the Blind, The British Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support (Haverhill), St Edmundsbury’s Families and Communities Officer Lizzi Cocker, Dave Smith from Haverhill South People’s Forum and town councillor Betty Mclatchy.

HAPI is set to grow with other organisations and individuals increasing its strength.

Mr Hodge, said: “We are determined to make life as good as possible for older people from all walks of life in the Haverhill community and we unanimously agreed a mission statement for HAPI.”

HAPI’s Mission Statement in full says:

Haverhill Action Partnership Initiative aims to improve health and wellbeing, social opportunities, transport availability and other factors of benefit to the older community in the Haverhill area. We will work towards the launch of lunch and social clubs, intergenerational activities and other services that will be of real and lasting benefit to the older community. We will keep a watching brief on issues such as non-essential patient transport and try to ensure equality of opportunity for services such as Post Acute Care Enablement (PACE) regardless of the hospital involved.

For further information on HAPI, please contact Gavin Hodge, chairman, on 01284 757755 or email to gavin.hodge@ageuksuffolk.org or write to Gavin Hodge, Chairman, HAPI, Age UK Suffolk, Saxon House, 7 Hillside Road, Bury St Edmunds, IP32 7EA

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