A TRIAL scheme has been launched to help provide reassurance for older people.

Safe and Connected sees Royal Mail postmen and postwomen call on residents living in the Whitby, Sleights and Goathland areas on their rounds.

The responses to the questions they ask are passed back to North Yorkshire County Council’s Living Well team to assist as necessary.

Among the first people to sign up to the trial was Brenda Simpson, 76, from Whitby. “My daughter saw the scheme on Facebook and she thought it would give her and I peace of mind if I should fall,” she said.

“I think it is absolutely brilliant. It is reassuring to know the postman is going to call twice a week on days agreeable to both of us to check up to see if I am well and if there’s anything I need help with.

“A lot of people find it difficult to ask for help, but this scheme is so good. To anyone thinking of it, I’d say don’t hesitate, get involved.”

Royal Mail postman Christian Elcoate, who visits several people on his round, said: “We get a lot of positive feedback from the reassurance we give to our customers through Safe and Connected.”

Often people don’t need further support, but if they do a member of the Living Well team will call or visit to talk about their concerns and discuss what support is required.

Many customers have already received advice, reassurance and help with GP appointments, practical tasks and connections to local voluntary services.

County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, executive member for public health, said: “Loneliness and isolation can take their toll on people’s wellbeing. Safe and Connected offers a chance to address these issues early. I urge anyone who feels they, or someone they know, may benefit, to register.”

The trial, which will run until March, is funded by the Home Office and is running in three locations, the others being parts of Liverpool and New Malden in Kingston-upon-Thames.

Anyone aged 65 or over who is feeling lonely or isolated can join the trial.

For more information, phone Living Well co-ordinator Louise Partlett on 01609 532962 or email Louise.Partlett@northyorks.gov.uk