Older tenants get (corona) help from Philips volunteers and VHE

20 April 2020 in Eindhovens Dagblad:

"An important advantage of this cooperation is that the elderly can be sure that the help they are offered is reliable".

Woonbedrijf mediates in help for elderly people

Eindhoven, 16 April 2020 - Housing corporation Woonbedrijf has entered into a partnership with Philips, VHE (Maatje040) and Samen voor Eindhoven (Together for Eindhoven) to help senior citizens during and after the coronary crisis. The parties will make optimum use of VHE's existing volunteer network to provide safe support to people aged 80 and over who live in rented accommodation owned by Woonbedrijf. Volunteers can be deployed for chores such as shopping, gardening and walking the dog, but also for a pleasant telephone conversation. Ingrid de Boer, general manager of Woonbedrijf, is happy to see the cooperation started. "It is fantastic that a number of organisations in Eindhoven are joining forces in this way to help our residents," says De Boer.

Cooperation with higher goals
Due to the measures surrounding the coronavirus, some elderly people are unable to call on the people who previously helped them with daily chores. In this unpleasant situation, Woonbedrijf, Samen voor Eindhoven, Philips and VHE (Maatje040) come to the rescue. Woonbedrijf calls residents who are 80 years of age or older and asks them if they need help or if they would like some company on the phone. By now, Woonbedrijf has contacted approximately 800 residents by telephone. These calls are already greatly appreciated by the residents.

In the meantime, the foundation Samen voor Eindhoven has recruited volunteers at Philips. Philips gives its employees the time and space to dedicate to this initiative. The requests for help collected by Woonbedrijf are passed on to the volunteer organisation VHE (Maatje040). VHE matches the people requesting help with volunteers. What makes the partnership so special is that Woonbedrijf's roots lie in housing for Philips employees. Many of the rental houses are still occupied by former Philips employees, which can mean a connection between the old and the new generation.

Reliable volunteers in the neighbourhood
Philips employees could volunteer to become a bell-ringer, shopping helper, money helper or garden buddy. Many did so enthusiastically. To guarantee the safety of both volunteers and people requesting help, instructions have been drawn up that are in line with the advice of the RIVM. For example, volunteers do not enter the home and they never ask for the resident's bank card. The person requesting help is also assigned a volunteer who lives nearby, so that help is always close by.

Although this initiative was created during the corona crisis, this does not mean that the help will stop when the corona outbreak is under control. The volunteers are there for the long haul, even after the crisis period.

All parties involved have years of experience in mediating between volunteers and those seeking help for a longer period of time. The volunteers receive proper instructions and explanations before they are matched to the person seeking help. If any questions or problems should arise, a helpdesk has been set up for this purpose. Should any questions or problems arise, a coordinator can be reached on 06-30 48 4681.

Do you need help yourself or would you like to have a chat with one of our volunteers? Then you can call 040-244 76 69. E-mail is also possible via info@maatje040.nl.