The county-wide Village Agents scheme in Gloucestershire has won the praise of a previous Prime Minister and is regularly approached by other rural counties wishing to adopt a similar scheme.

Jointly funded by Gloucestershire County Council and NHS Gloucestershire, Village Agents now have a presence in over 200 of the County's parishes.

The scheme works because Agents live close to the communities in which they work. Consequently, they know the villages and their people well.

Rather than proferring advice, Agents provide an overview of services available in the county and offer help to access them. They help in myriads of other ways too - thus winning the trust of those they help and enabling older people to stay independent for longer.

The service has even attracted interest from Singapore!

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