For pensioner Kempton Cannon, returning to his empty house after a spell in hospital was set to be a daunting prospect.

The 90-year-old former painter and decorator was anxious about how he would cope back home living alone.

But now, as a ground-breaking project expands across the Bradford district for the first time, a package of help and support is available to Mr Cannon and hundreds of patients like him.

Home from Hospital is an initiative designed to ease adults of all ages back into everyday life after being discharged from hospital.

It helps with everything from benefits guidance and restarting home care to making sure houses are safe, and that gas, electric and water supplies are in working order.

Patients receive a hamper of food basics and a safety and well-being checklist, plus a friendly face from volunteers involved in the project, which is co-ordinated by award-winning charity, The Carers Resource.

For Mr Cannon, of Addingham, the visits are proving a lifeline.

“I do not know what I would have done, or how I would have got back on my feet without them,” he said. “They have helped me feel better, which in turn has helped me get better.

“The people who come are like old friends, as if I have known them all my life. They make sure I’m warm, eating and sleeping properly, and pop to the shops like a good neighbour if I need anything getting in.

“Having a coffee and a chat with them makes a real difference to me as I try to get back into a routine and regain my independence.

“They are there for me, helping my home feel like home again and making my life worth living.”

The programme of additional support, which can last up to six weeks, was originally offered to patients being discharged from Airedale General Hospital, near Keighley. The service has now been extended to include patients returning home from Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital, as well as community hospitals at Westbourne Green, Eccleshill and Westwood Park in Bradford, Troutbeck in Ilkley and Curregate in Keighley.

Volunteers are vital to the success of the scheme and the charity is holding a recruitment drive across Bradford and Airedale. For information, contact (01274) 531377.