Local Services: Horsham District Community Link

Freeman Brothers was first established as a funeral director in 1855. Initially based in Horsham, West Sussex, the company maintains the original office, as well as further ones in Billingshurst, Crawley and Hurstpierpoint. With a wealth of knowledge of the local area, members of the team aim to support the community in a number of […]

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Freeman Brothers was first established as a funeral director in 1855. Initially based in Horsham, West Sussex, the company maintains the original office, as well as further ones in Billingshurst, Crawley and Hurstpierpoint. With a wealth of knowledge of the local area, members of the team aim to support the community in a number of ways. Recently, we learned more about Horsham District Council’s Community Link service – Becky explains more…

Several of us at Freeman Brothers are in a similar age group and so there tend to be parallels in our lives. One of these has been supporting our older relations, and I know that a number of my colleagues have either used or considered assistive technologies in their families. These include items such as doorbell cameras, or emergency alert buttons.

I’d done some research on this myself a few years ago, when a discussion arose at home about the possibility of using these to help care for someone we know, and we were all a bit shocked about the cost involved when we looked at the options online. For one reason and another, we chose not to go down that route at the time and my research got put to one side.

Something that might have better informed our thinking had I known about it at the time was that some local councils are able to support residents via provision of these services, and I recently learned that Horsham District Council is one of them.

Residents of Horsham District, plus those in Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, and villages surrounding those towns are able to access the Community Link service. Part of the service includes assistive technology provision – another way of referring to digital devices!

Those on offer include items such as fall detectors, GPS devices, and digital lifeline alarms. The service is also able to provide advice and support on things such as fire safety and key boxes – the latter of which are becoming incredibly popular for those who need to ensure that someone can access their property without the resident themselves letting them in. Key boxes are popular for many reasons now, and they are very simple to operate – they are essentially miniature safes, which can be accessed via a code. This can be given to people such as the emergency services, or care providers, so that they are able to enter and provide help when necessary.

Community Link’s priority is providing personalised care and advice in order to help people to live safely and independently. Due to this, a variety of options are available in order to meet an individual’s needs. Once the right device or devices have been established for a user, they are paid for on a rental basis. If a user decides to no longer use the devices, moves out of area or into an environment where they are fully cared for, or dies, the rental agreement will end and devices will be returned so that they can be redistributed.

The service helps to install and set up any devices, as well as working with the person so that they learn how to use them. The fees involved when renting via Horsham District Council are typically much lower than other companies available – this is certainly my perspective having done some research in the past. Residents of the district are welcome to complete research of their own in order to find what will suit them best.

Prior to meeting a member of the Community Link team at a networking event, I had no idea such a thing existed, and I’m pleased that it does. I have friends and family both within the area and beyond, and if someone outside of the Horsham District asked me about these services, I would urge them to check with their own Council before purchasing or renting privately, due to both the saving that I believe would be made and the local, personalised service involved when going via the Council.

You can find out more about Community Link by visiting their website.

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Written by Becky Hughes

Community Co-Ordinator

August 23, 2023

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