By By Ben Rayner • 05/31/2022 2:51 PM EST

The city’s Department of Social Services has partnered with Manchester’s UR Community Cares to help older people and anyone over the age of 18 in a program that matches volunteers with people in need. According to the department, the program will enroll Guilford residents in need of assistance and provide community volunteer support for those who are discharged from hospital, recovering from surgery or are less mobile due to aging.

Recognizing a growing aging population in Guilford, Guilford Director of Social Services (GSS) Tammy DeFrancesco and Seniors Supervisor Terry Buckley sought a solution to the lack of services they recognized for this population. Knowing that Guilford is a community of civic-minded individuals, DeFrancesco said the collaboration will be a safe match for patrons and volunteers.

“Sixty-nine percent of the population we serve at GSS are over the age of 60 and/or have disabilities and we wanted to help provide them with a resource that allows them to stay independent and safe at home without draining their financial resources. says DeFrancesco. .

Buckley said the program is designed to keep seniors and those in need longer in their homes and to do so at no cost.

“Many people ask for trips to church, help with errands, a companion for medical appointments, seasonal tasks such as yard work or snow removal, or just changing a light bulb. . Guilford Community Cares will help keep residents safe at home,” Buckley said.

Buckley and DeFrancesco approached Guilford Rotary for a grant to fund the initial phase of the program for the Guilford community. Rotary was a vital link for the city’s plan to implement the program, according to DeFrancesco.

“GSS and Senior Services are extremely grateful to the Rotarians of Guilford for…making the initial investment to bring invaluable service to many,” said DeFrancesco. “Anytime you can help someone in need of kindness…the community member, the volunteer and the community as a whole benefits. We are beyond thrilled that Guilford Rotary immediately recognized the value of this resource to the Guilford community and provided the initial funding needed to initiate Guilford’s partnership with the UR Community Cares digital platform to match those who have need help in our community with those who are impatient. to help.”

Michelle Puzzo, MD, co-founded UR Community Cares in February 2019. The concept of UR Community Cares was created around a digital platform to connect people in need with those in the same community who want to help.

“Guilford embraces the idea of ​​community service to the members served, building community bonds one voluntary act of kindness at a time. We do everything in our power to provide free, non-clinical, home-based services to older people with and without physical disabilities, so they can maintain their independence to stay safely in their homes. Specifically, we provide volunteer services in the areas of housework, gardening, companionship and transportation,” Puzzo said.

Any Guilford resident or business who would like to contribute to this program can contact DeFrancesco at 203-453-8009 or Buckley at 203-453-8086. Residents can also visit the UR Community Cares website