3SG overcoming hidden barriers.

James Carlin 3SG - overcoming hidden barriers

Overcoming hidden barriers.

There are many hidden barriers that can make accessing services as we get older increasingly difficult, such as a worry of what others may think when asking for help, a lack of knowledge of what’s out there, and issues such as accessing the internet.

It is these barriers that can prevent those who need help getting access to services.

“If everyone did a little bit to support others when they needed it, the world would be a better place,” says Sarah, a 3SG volunteer. Sarah has lived in Bath for 17 years, and signed up to set a good role model to her children, and share her values of supporting and being an active part of the community.

She helps with shopping, medication, and leafletting. Her two daughters also love to help and shared lots of smiles when delivering VE Day packages to isolated older people in Bath.

The relatively small amounts of time that she invests help to make a huge difference to the lives of others.

Sarah explains, “I have learnt things I take for granted – popping into my car to shop whenever I like – is a privileged some don’t have and access to food can be a huge challenge,”

“At one stage in lockdown, I was shopping for six. I learnt a colour co-ordinated list and strong biceps to push the trolley are the way forward!”

Although Sarah has witnessed first-hand some of the sadness and loneliness old age can bring, she has had the pleasure of hearing some incredible stories.

“I took one of the ladies to her favourite shop. She had recently been bereaved and had a very sad few months and transport now makes shopping hard for her. Halfway around our shop, she stopped to tell me it was the best day out she has had all year and that she’d loved our outing. It was a small thing for me that meant a lot to her.”

Who are 3SG and what are they doing to overcome the barriers older people face?

Four years ago, James Carlin and a group of local charities set up 3SG. Their vision was to create the Compassionate Community Hub, where people in Bath and North East Somerset feel inspired, empowered, and supported to look after one another and their communities.

In a partnership with Virgin Care and B&NES Council, 3SG has created the Compassionate Community Hub to reach out and help those in need. To date, they have made 8,000 calls with local people and completed 2,000 tasks, including delivering food and emergency medicine across every area of Bath and North East Somerset.

During the lockdown, 3SG saw over 2,500 local people sign up in less than two weeks to be part of the Community Emergency Volunteer Response to help connect isolated people with a local volunteer who could deliver vital supplies. 3SG are now also linking volunteers with members of the charity network who may need support from a volunteer.

“Those first few weeks are just a blur, to be honest. We were working 18-hour days and eventually had to set up a new phone number due to the constant texts, calls and WhatsApp messages from people either asking for help or wanting to volunteer. Fortunately, a small number of core volunteers like Sarah Williams-Martin, Joshua Hale, Chris Thornett, Victoria Johnson and others came forward to help us manage the overwhelm,” adds James Carlin.

3SG prides themselves on 90% of their volunteers carrying out repeat services for people they have established a relationship with. But it doesn’t stop there. 3SG is now looking to secure further funding to help 500 others access support who do not have help from family or friends.

To find out more about 3SG, click here.

Want to join Sarah as a volunteer and become part of the 3SG network? Click here.


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