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HUNDREDS of lonely pensioners were given a day out to remember thanks to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) and its partners.
The group of Manchester residents were sent on a trip out on the West coast of England on Thursday, June 18, 2015.
GMFRS staff in Manchester work closely with a number of agencies, including Age Friendly and Northwards Housing. And it is thanks to the strong relationships with partners that a group of 250 people – some who don’t have any close family members or friends – have enjoyed a day in Southport.
Ahead of the outing, community safety staff from GMFRS made up goodie bags for the older people containing items such as safety leaflets, pedometers and hand warmers.
The convoy of coaches left Victoria Square in Manchester at 10am and were waved off by GMFRS staff including firefighters from Manchester Central Fire Station and also the Service’s mascot, Cracker.
Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton, said: “We are delighted with the partnerships GMFRS has formed across the county over the years and how services on offer to the public have evolved.
“GMFRS doesn’t just fight fires – its staff members work with all groups of the community including the elderly who are often at greater risk from all kinds of dangers.
“We continue to offer traditional life-saving services, like keeping people safe in their homes, but we also help vulnerable community members in many other ways, such as helping to send the group from North City Nomads to Southport.”
Community Engagement Officer Tracey Annette, Age-friendly Manchester Team, said: “Being able to do something very practical that has potential to reduce the feelings of isolation and loneliness that many older people face day to day, really does give you a great feeling.
“In the build up to the Southport trip I had the opportunity to speak to lots of people who were preparing for their day out - some said they couldn't remember their last holiday, others reported that they hadn't had a day out since the loss of their partner or companion and for others it was the fact they had no one to support them on a day that presented difficulties.
“Being able to provide people with the confidence to participate on this trip will hopefully mean they will join in with other opportunities and everyone I spoke to had a great time.
“The support of partner organisations, particularly GMFRS, was extremely valued. We couldn't have organised a trip on such a scale without support."