“Westbank Community Health and Care, or Westbank for short, isn’t as well known across Devon as it truly deserves to be, and I’m on a mission to change that. Since taking the helm last summer, I have learnt and am still learning so much about this awesome community of staff and volunteers. Each of them deserves recognition for their tireless work to help people of all ages across Devon lead healthier and happier lives and maintain their independence for as long as they can. 

Since 1986, Westbank has made a difference to the lives of thousands of people across Devon. We work to empower communities and individuals by caring for every aspect of their health and well-being, both physical and mental.

From the moment I stepped through the door of Westbank HQ, at Exminster near Exeter, I realised that this award-winning organisation relies on a very special group of people. Quite simply, Westbank is a supportive family of caring individuals who look out for each other and the wider community we serve.

Our staff is supported by an army of hundreds of volunteers spread right across the county, all of whom understand the importance of small acts of kindness and human connection in modern society, where young and old (and those in between) can feel lonely and socially isolated. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our local volunteers.  They are the beating heart of our charity, connecting us to Devon’s rural and urban communities.

The diverse range of services we provide includes social and enablement activities for people of all ages, from wrap-around services for families through our Kidzone to programmes to maintain independence for the elderly; transport and support for patients leaving hospital which enables those without family or friends nearby to return home after treatment or surgery; our successful Healthier Devon lifestyle intervention programme to help people at high risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes; support for Adult and Young Carers; a fully adaptable gym at our base in Exminster, as well as exercise classes, walking groups and rehabilitation services across the county and a range of cooking, food and healthy eating initiatives. This list is by no means exhaustive but gives you some idea of the breadth of services we offer to help combat loneliness and social isolation and support people in developing and maintaining a healthier lifestyle.

As people live longer, many are dealing with multiple health conditions. Care can be complex and feel overwhelming for those trying to manage a range of symptoms and treatments - their own or those of someone they care for. We are there to provide the safety net between the cracks in NHS and social services provision.

Our vision is to ensure that people across Devon, regardless of their age, can access the healthcare and support they need without any barriers."

If you would like to find out more about our charity or would consider supporting us through volunteering or by making a donation or legacy, please take a further look around our website. 

Article from The Moorlander newspaper