FaNs (“Friends and Neighbours”) is a three year programme funded by Essex County Council and led by the My Home Life Essex Community Association, working in partnership with Age UK Essex and Independent Age. It started at the beginning of 2014 and was officially launched by in June of that year.
The central aim of FaNs is to help make sure that older people living in Essex care homes can enjoy the best possible quality of life according to their individual needs, interests and preferences. Its purpose is to encourage and support people and organisations in the wider community to become good friends and neighbours to their local care homes and the people who live in them.
FaNs is not an organisation in its own right and neither is it a service provided by the My Home Life Essex Community Association, or any other organisation. It is an inclusive community of people who share its aims and values and choose to help make them a reality. No specific commitments are required because every FaN contributes in his or her own individual way. The FaNs movement belongs to everyone who wants to be part of it.
So how are we building the FaNs Movement?
- Firstly, we promote, encourage and support the development of networks of people – individuals and members of all kinds of groups and organisations – who are willing to take an active interest in the well being of their local care homes and the people who live in them; to be, in other words, good “Friends and Neighbours”. These are the FaNs.
- Secondly, we offer practical help and support to the owners, managers and staff of care homes to take advantage of the opportunities and resources the FaNs can offer, for the benefit of their residents
- Thirdly, we promote an active, county wide community of FaNs, which allows us to share our ideas and experiences, build a common identity and develop a dynamic library of resources that we can all use to enhance the movement’s presence and activities with and for people living in care homes.
We are all individuals and the contributions FaNs can make are as many and varied as the FaNs themselves. Many are in direct contact with care homes and their residents and some of these may need police checks, which are arranged by the relevant care home. Others make their contribution indirectly by helping to build and maintain the FaNs network, locally or in support of the work of the My Home Life Essex Community Association and its partners. They are all helping in their own way to Make Every Moment Count.