Village Services

Association for Household, Family and Operation Services

Village Services, in the Leader-Region Großglockner/Mölltal – Oberdrautal, offer services for social welfare in the municipalities of the region. Village Services simultaneously functions as an information hub for the mediation of the capacities of organisations in the social and healthcare areas. Village Services also creates new jobs for women who want to re-enter the workforce.

1. Initial Position

The demographic development in the Leader-Region Großglockner/Mölltal (Spittal district) brings a deep structural change in the population and household development.

Senior citizen mobility has greatly reduced in the extensive Spittal district. The “stumbling blocks” are the shrinking number of local amenities; therefore more social networks are required outside of the family. Obsolescence and migration make the search for new concepts necessary.

The extended family as social network has drastically decreased. Neighbourhood assistance becomes increasingly more difficult to organise, because there are more working women, young and active people move away and are not available for immediate emergency aid. Assistance for people who need help in their everyday life, which was previously provided from neighbourhood assistance, is now missing.

2. Project Goal Setting

  • Village Services offers, social welfare for the elderly, families and informal caregivers in the Spittal district in the vicinity of the communities.
  • It reacts to the demographic trends and changed household structures by building-up, accompanying and co-ordinating voluntary groups.
  • In all municipalities, citizens with the same interests come together, sport associations, music groups, singers and much more. Nevertheless, socially driven people work silently and mostly alone. Village Services offers a platform and the possibility for people with common interests to get together. The groups are led by the project co-ordinator and from the Village Service workers.
  • The voluntary workers give a part of their free time to the community and then receive periodic meetings, advanced training, exchange of experience and supervision. They offer the following free services:
  • Shuttle service
  • Visiting service
  • Accompaniment to church and cemetery
  • Shopping service
  • Last-minute child care
  • All these services are coordinated by our Village Services employees, thus one contact person for so many services.
  • Village Services functions as an information hub and mediate offers from establishments in the social and healthcare areas.
  • It offers practical support for families in exceptional situations:

Erika K. a 35 year old mother of Maria and Thomas breaks her leg when she falls from a ladder while cleaning the windows. What next?Her husband comes home late in the evening, the grandparents live far away. But before the children come home, Erika had already called Village Services. A good decision, because a few hours the voluntary worker is standing in the kitchen and prepared cheese-noodles in the kitchen. Then Erika organised one of the voluntary Village Services workers for afternoon care for the children for the next day.

Or another example:

It is Friday afternoon - and Anna B. (82) discovers that she must be immediately treated in the hospital. A shock - her 85 old husband is dependent on care. Desperately, Anna B. turns to the social services in the municipal office. She contacts the Village Services, who organises an all-day care for Anna B.’s husband within a short time.

An example of something that could happen any day.

  • Village Services creates jobs for women, who want to re-enter the workforce. Additionally, voluntary employees work at Village Services. There are also other cooperation partners of the Village Services organizations, which offer services in the social and health care areas.

3. Measures for Achieving Objectives

  • Building-up a sound basis and a functioning network in social services on the municipal and district levels.
  • Establish social competence centres in the municipalities to promote knowledge development and co-operation between the social initiatives.
  • Closing gaps to support seniors who are not yet “dependent on care” but need support.
  • Increase senior mobility through targeted group offers and the creation of meeting and communication areas for example, through shuttle and shopping services, through meetings such as going to the cinema, game evenings, Village Services meetings, etc.
  • Support of informal caregivers through relationship work, knowledge development and exchange of experience in co-operation with the “Healthy Community” project.
  • Build-up suitable structures for municipality-overlap services (1 Village Services employee takes care of 2 - 3 communities)
  • To qualify people re-entering their full-time job at Village Services
  • To communicate results and offers through purposeful public work
  • Process-accompanying evaluation and implementation of the findings

4. Project Time Line

April 2008 – March 2011

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