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-Barcelona is a city where 20% of the population is over 65,
and a quarter of these people live alone.
The risk of isolation and social exclusion
of these older people was been the impulse
behind the birth of Project Radars, that has taken off in the neighbourhood
of Camp d'en Grassot, and now is a project
with a presence across a large part of the city of Barcelona.
The object of Radars is to guarantee the wellbeing
of older people who live alone
and to tackle unwanted solitude,
with the objective of alleviating its causes
and negative consequences on health.
It is hoped this will be achieved through joint work
between the social services and the social fabric of the environment;
neighbours, shopkeepers, volunteers, entities
and services linked to the neighbourhood.
The involvement of all these agents occurs by means
of an Organisational Forum
that functions as a setting for debate about the strategies
and actions carried out within the framework of the Project.
-The Organisational Forum meets approximately
four or five times a year, there is no firm, programmed calendar.
Rather at each meeting themes are discussed
and proposals made for the next meeting.
Basically the themes dealt with are
how to give different coverage to the Project,
how to do this, where to do it, when to do it...
-Radar wants and needs to involve the whole fabric of the neighbourhood,
so the participation of shops
and pharmacies is a priority.
Volunteers like María and Ana
take charge of informing shopkeepers about the project
and recruiting them as Radars.
-We are volunteers for the shops and what we have to do
is visit all the shops in this area and ask
the person in the shop, whether it is the boss
or the shop assistant, if they want to participate in Radars.
We explain the Project to them,
that as the person in the shop they deal with many people
keeping an eye on the people who come in, seeing, for example,
if someone is losing their faculties, if at that time that person
is less well kempt, or if they are losing their memory a bit.
-In fact, shops already played the role of radars in the past.
The only difference is now, as it is very well organized,
the shop assistant have somewhere to go and know who to turn to,
in case someone presents in a situation like this.
-One of the ways in which users of Project Radars
are detected and it is advertised
is by going door to door, a task carried out by
a group of Red Cross volunteers,
the majority of whom are older than 65 and have two objectives:
the first is to recruit radars; the other objective of the door to door
is to identify possible users through a questionnaire
about their state of health and if they want to be Radar users.
They are offered telephone monitoring
and the option to participate
in different activities in the neighbourhood.
Those people detected as users
are assessed by the social services
who intervene together with health services
and the neighbourhood network,
and form part of the platform of the telephone monitoring.
One of the main advantages of Radars is that it seeks
the active participation of its beneficiaries,
older people, who become involved as volunteers,
either as individuals or through the entities
to which they belong.
The active life of a volunteer has a very positive impact
on the quality of life of older people.
-I had always wanted to be a volunteer and I thought
that this was a good opportunity and it is really rewarding
because you meet people who have needs, who are alone
and who want to talk, and if you listen, provides a lot of comfort.
The truth is it gives us more than we give to the people we call.
-They are very affectionate and you feel good doing something
that you know is worthwhile. That you can help people.
-For me, really, volunteering is something
that I would never have thought would mean so much.
And really, now that I have tried it I think it is fantastic.
-It gave me the ability to help others
which is very important for me.
It gives me this.
I have always tried to do it,
I don't know if I have succeeded but I try.
-You are very satisfied because you see that the people
who you contact are very grateful
and are people who need contact, and, also,
you do the city good, that is, you make the city more human
by putting people in contact with each other,
as if this was a village.