Royal Mail staff to check on vulnerable Mancunians

Vulnerable person home monitoring system providers Howz are piloting a project where Royal Mail delivery staff will help families monitor their elderly and vulnerable relatives as part of their daily postal rounds.

The Greater Manchester pilot will involve 100 residents in the city, whose families will have a free monitoring starter kit and six months of free access, compliments of Royal Mail.

The Howz monitoring kit includes movement sensors and electricity use monitors. With these, families can monitor the resident’s daily routines and build up an algorithm that raises a red flag should these routines be changed. Howz can share any changes of routine with family, friends or healthcare professionals.

Where Royal Mail postmen and women come in is through the postcard scheme. Families can send a postcard via the Howz app and this will be delivered by Royal Mail delivery staff. The resident has to sign for it – if there is no sign at the door a red flag can be raised. During the trial, families can send up to 12 postcards each.

Louise Rogerson, the Director of Operations at Howz, said: “This collaboration will combat social isolation so often witnessed across the country – the local postman or woman can do so much in helping reassure family and friends that loved ones are well while also having a friendly chat with the resident.”

Ady Fielding, Royal Mail’s Delivery Leader North West England, added: “Royal Mail is pleased to be working with Howz to support this trial in Manchester. By simply sending a postcard and getting proof of delivery from trial participants, their family and friends will quickly and easily know that their loved ones are OK, or get help if needed.

“This builds on the role our postmen and women already play in looking out for vulnerable and isolated people in their communities.”

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