Celebrating 30 years of Lifeline services

​Welbeing is celebrating 30 years since one of its founding organisations was launched. Established in June 1986, Eastbourne Lifeline pioneered the new emergency call system for elderly and disabled people allowing them to live in their own homes with around-the-clock access to specialist help at the push of a button.

Staff with 30 years balloons

Users were given a pendant alarm and base unit which gave them instant communication with trained control centre staff in case of difficulties. Eastbourne Lifeline grew in popularity year by year and in 2005 Eastbourne Borough Council and Wealden District Council merged and took over the operations and renamed it as Welbeing.

From its humble beginnings supporting 2,000 customers in its first year, the service has undergone a massive expansion in 30 years. Welbeing now helps 60,000 elderly and disabled people live independently through its wide range of telecare sensors. In 1986 the only offering was a simple pendant and base unit, that by today’s standards appears large and clunky, to nowadays more than 70 sensors on offer to minimise risks such as falls, gas and flood detection as well as GPS trackers.

Employee numbers have increased dramatically too, from just 25 staff in 1986 to now more than 130. At the start, the control centre had 13 telephone operators and this figure has risen to 45.

Welbeing has extended its reach across the entire country and is the chosen partner to more than 50 public sector organisations including East and West Sussex County Councils, Chester West and Cheshire, Camden and Luton Councils.

Charlene Saunders, Marketing Manager at Welbeing, said: “It’s amazing how much the service has grown over the last three decades both in terms of the huge numbers of customers we now have nationwide, and the extensive array of telecare options we offer. Some 1.7million people in the UK rely on telecare or a telehealth service to enable them to live safely in their own homes and we are proud to be a leading provider in this field.”

Peter Baverstock, who created and initially ran Eastbourne Lifeline, said: “I am really proud of how the service has developed over the last 30 years. This was the first of its kind in the country and it is a tribute to staff past and present that Welbeing has grown into a major provider of this important service. Now in my 70s and still working, I look forward to eventually being a customer myself.”