GAU

GAU – Flying Angels – North Cyprus


GAU – Flying Angels

Do you need help? or Can you Help?

By Margaret Sheard and Chris Elliott

A short time Günay Beyzadeago we heard about a new project from Girne American University called the “Flying Angels” and since then we have had some meetings with the people who will be running this ground-breaking project. Gűnay Beyzade is the Project Co-ordinator of the Flying Angels project and although we unfortunately have a language issue we have had the assistance of Salise Kocak MA, who is a Psychology Lecturer and has been invaluable at the meetings for both her own input and to help as interpreter.

The aim of the Flying Angels is to offer a service for the senior citizens and children of the community which will be handled with social responsibility, care and sensitivity.   ThiOne of our many visits. Left to right - Chris Elliott, Günay Beyzade, Salise Kocak, Margaret Sheards will be with the co-operation of the students of the Nursing School, the Faculty of Education – pre-school Education Department, and the Faculty of Humanities – Psychology Department.  The students are prepared to offer the following services for senior citizens in their own homes as a means of facilitating general health and quality of life:-

→    personal care   :     healthy eating    :    mental health

 →    book and newspaper reading    :    developing hobbies

There is also a neHelp with the childrened for help with pre-school age children where the parent(s) have no means or access to daytime care while they are at work and the aim is to offer help with effective basic pre-school education as well as with their parents in the comfort of their own home to acquire information and skills for early-stage childcare.

The team will respond to requests for the contribution of the Flying Angels towards a child’s awareness, social, emotional and psychological development.

The aim of the project is to offer services to the community in the comfort of their own homes with professiChild careonal and scientific supervision with nursing and psychological care and in doing so they will be contributing to the health and development of the people in the community.

The services offered will be for all people, irrespective of nationality, living in North Cyprus.  The pilot scheme is centred on the Girne area and is currently providing medical and psychological support at the Lapta Nursing Home but eventually will cover the whole of North Cyprus from north to south and east to west.

GAU Flying Angels are at your service for personal and community development, so for help and service requests  ; telephone : 650 20 00 (extension 1280)

Carer visitThe administrators are aware that there is an abundance of foreign nationals who have experience in nursing, social services, and other medical fields who would probably be more than willing to offer their services on a voluntary basis to the project and it would be well worth encouraging these people to come forward and join the Flying Angels.

This is indeed a much needed project and will be so much appreciated by the people in North Cyprus, especially those who are reaching an age when they are not sure how they would cope should their health begin to suffer in the future.   Many British expatriates return to the UK for this very reason but with this project coming into existence this may not be necessary and all of the foreign nationals who have made North Cyprus their home can hopefully remain here with the knowledge that there will be help at hand with the Flying Angels.Nursing care

We are well aware of cases of people having to leave the island, one of which over recent years being a neighbour whose husband was starting to suffer from Alzheimer’s and of course there was no help or facilities available other than relying on friends and neighbours.  Where 24 hour care is needed, the carer needs some respite and hopefully this is where the Flying Angels would be able to step in to offer support especially from a psychological aspect for both the patient and the family.

I also had a personal experience some years ago when my sister was hospitalised with a broken hip for 10 days in Lefkoşa State Hospital, unable to move until after her operation.  Ten days does not seem such a long time but in the heat of July it was very wearing travelling to and fro every day and I would have really appreciated some help.  There was a further experience when Chris broke his hip.  This was aCounsellingt the beginning of 2011 and at this time it involved a 5 week stay at Girne State Hospital which was prolonged due to a chest infection he was suffering at the time resulting in the operation being postponed for some 3 weeks.  During this time Chris experienced panic attacks and could not sleep because he thought he would stop breathing.  This was not a normal reaction for him and he could only think that it was due to the fact that he was not in control of events.  Psychological counselling would have been invaluable in this sort of scenario.

Chris  also had a similar experience when his wife was in hospital for 6-7 months on and off with no support other than from friends. At the time he was a member of the 112 (now CHeadESV) Emergency Services Volunteers and apart from his own experiences he recalls seeing a young Englishman who, whilst on holiday, received severe head injuries in a car crash and his mother came out from the UK and was with him day and night before he was repatriated back to the UK, this must have been very distressing for her in a country she did not know and with no-one to give her support and again psychological assistance would probably have been very helpful to her.

On another occasion, Chris went to the hospital with Terry Carter who was then the Director of Operations for the 112 volunteers, to see 4 people who were on holiday and were in intensive care with suspected food poisoning.  Again, there would be no-one to give support.

All of these stress factors do not help a patient to recover quickly and easing the stress situation with psychological support is imperative, as if the patient is relieved of this the recovery period should improve dramatically.  The Flying Angels would be able to help with this situation.

At the time Chris talked to his contacts with the Doctors and also the then, 112 emergency volunteers about the need for forming some type of volunteer group to be on hand but the concept had   received no interest from the Authorities so there was no further development for the need of a volunteer service at that time.

On refGAU Flying Angels logolection we both noticed, on our separate occasions, that Turkish Cypriots who are hospitalised have the support and care of family members.  This is not always the case with foreign nationals who are probably just 2 people and,  in a lot of cases, are people living on their own with no family here at all.  The Flying Angels would be invaluable in these sorts of cases.

Cyprusscene.com are extremely enthusiastic about this project and will be doing everything possible to promote it with publicity through articles on our website and through our many contact channels to give maximum exposure so that everyone will be aware of the Flying Angels and the service they give to the community.

So what can you do to help the Flying Angels?

Over the next few months, teams of volunteers are are being brought together to assist Flying AnEducation for pre-school age childrengels and those with a background in social services management, nursing, medical and psychology professions, first aiders or simply those who want to help others, are invited to apply for consideration by filling in their personal details and sending them to the Flying Angels by clicking here

To learn more about the Flying Angels, take time to look at their website to see what they are trying to do and offer to the community. Click Here

This is a new initiative to bring expatriate volunteers into the Flying Angels organisation so in turn they can help others less fortunate.

10 replies »

  1. The sentiment is admirable but my concerns are with regard to the training, protection and background checks, especially with regard to the provision of personal care to vulnerable people. Guidelines and boundaries are not just about red tape, they are there to protect both the carer and recipients of care of abusive demands/demands beyond what is reasonable. Carers are not always good people and care given can be abusive – we hear too often of situations where it goes badly wrong which is why it is so important that there are those who have the power to regulate, inspect and step in to protect. I do think there are roles for volunteers eg a sitting service/shopping/errands etc. but much of what I have read would fall within the parameters of trained home care staff. Personal care is a catch all phrase involving the most intimate of care for the vulnerable and very demanding work on the care giver, of not only physical effort but emotional and psychological strain. For the receiver of care, it is always better that they can develop a trusting relationship with a small team of carers (carers fall ill too and need a break). The training needs, including lifting and handling , protection issues, supervision of care givers, assessment of need/risk and delivery of a quality service is demanding for all concerned and why in UK the local authorities were the guardians of this care to make sure the provision, whether private or public met the legislative protection and guidance laid down by government. Of course the UK service is a charged service (dependent on assessment and ability to pay) but it is subsidized through public funding and carers are paid employees. I am not saying it is a perfect system and across the UK people will have had varying experiences, dependent upon their local authority and biting funding cuts. However, overall those who work within it do provide a good service. Add to this that home care is one service within a network of support services and the complications grow. Little acorns springs to mind and I think it would be admirable to have a group of volunteers to offer general support through a carer respite scheme but the ground work to train & protect all must be in place. (It’s no good if some tries to lift someone and ends up dropping them and damaging their own backs ..you end up with more problems). As for charges…you must cover out of pocket expenses and there must be funds for the training for those who are willing to give so much and if you want the service to be able to continue beyond…..then you ask will the trainers give their time and skills free… You need to pay more than the administrators and so it goes on. I wish them well but take heed….

    • Hi Jan,

      Thanks for your very valid comments. We can assure you that we have been speaking with GAU, Flying Angels and some interested expatriates about these very issues over the past weeks/months and are very aware of what is (and isn’t) required. There is an existing team of volunteers drawn from GAU and it was decided to invite expatriates because of their expertise to give support.

      Applications and interest has already been shown by a number of expatriates with suitable social services management skills which are very much needed to ensure that the policies in place are strictly adhered to and everyone is aware of their roles in this project.

      There is very little more we can say at this stage but as soon as the webpage links re-open you can read far more about the project and forward an application should you wish to become involved. We will be in contact with Flying Angels again on Monday and will bring you fresh news as soon as we are able.

    • Hello Maria, Yes you are correct, the links are down and we posted this comment into the thread on Olive Press Facebook page:

      Hi everybody Margaret and I have been with GAU for most of the day and we also tried to access the Angels site in their office and the links are down which we have reported and it seems the web page may be off line for maintenance. Let’s be fair to Olive Press and move any future dialog through to Cyprusscene.

      Thank you to all of those many many readers who have been reading the article over the past 48 hours and sharing your fears, concerns, and desire to help which will be answered shortly when the links re-open. All of your questions have been expressed over the past weeks and on this basis, this publication was launched in the knowledge that all areas of concern were covered and a policy is in place.

      Clearly this is a ground breaking initiative to bring many people together and those that want, I am sure can contribute. Please look for fresh news now on http://www.cyprusscene.com.

    • Thank you Pam, let’s hope we get many more comments like this and support and less of the doubting Thomas’s playing down the good efforts of others. As you say, the positive mood of change is long overdue.

  2. Its definitely a good idea as there are many elderly and vulnerable people in Cyprus, who would benefit from care and support in the community, but as a person who has first hand experience in this sector, feel that without the government setting the standards, and ensuring stringent regulation – it could be putting everyone at risk including the carer.

    • Hello Stepping Out of Haringey, London. Thank you for your comments which are most welcome and we have passed them to The GAU Flying Angels as they may wish to write to you to convey their thanks and also give you any information you may need.

      In the meanwhile do please follow the link in our article to the GAU Flying Angels web site which will give you a great deal more information.

  3. Greetings for the day!

    Respected sir/maim,

    I have post professional doctor of physical therapy degree with five years experience. I experienced in snile population problems. I am ready to serve flying angels as a volunteer. Please guide me how I contact with aouthorities.
    With profound regards,
    Ali Rafaqat.
    Eul,Lefke
    North Cyprus

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