Celebration Marks 20 Years of Support

A community alarm service to support independent living, provided by Winchester City Council, has marked twenty years of success this month. Launched in January 1986 by the then Minister for Housing, John Patten, the Lifeline community alarm system, was one of the first of its kind to be launched in the country.

Backed by a team of dedicated professionals, the Lifeline alarm allows users to call for help 365 days a year at the touch of a button, with help provided by a team of 12 mobile wardens. The service uses Tunstall technology and now supports some 800 people in their own homes and over 1,000 residents in local authority and private sheltered schemes in the Winchester district.

Meridian presenter Debbie Thrower joined the birthday celebrations along with members of staff who had helped to make the alarm such a success over the last two decades. Debbie also took time out to meet elderly residents who use the scheme in their own homes and who were unable to join the party, while other scheme users joined her later in the Guildhall to help cut the huge birthday cake.

"The Lifeline community alarm service has made a world of difference to so many people in the Winchester district," said Dominic Hiscock, Portfolio Holder for Housing. "People have been enabled to stay living independently in their own homes for longer as the system gives them and their relatives peace of mind for as little as £3 a week. The Lifeline Service is a vital contribution towards improving the quality of life and health of people in our communities, enabling them to remain independent and safe."

In the future the service will be widened to support lone working and domestic violence situations, and it can also be linked to fire and smoke alarm systems.

For further information contact Lynn Curtis, Community Alarm Centre Manager, on 01962 848 399.