THE local branch of Age UK is appealing to Redditch residents to help the charity tackle the increasing levels of loneliness being experienced by local older people.
Backed by grant funding from Redditch Borough Councillors Tom Baker-Price and Joanne Beecham, they’re looking to recruit ‘Befriending Volunteers’ as part of a befriending and care call service with an initial focus on Headless Cross and Oakenshaw.
The aim is to have a befriending volunteer to do regular visits to an older person or someone with a health problem in their own home or to chat to them on the phone.
The arrangement is based on friendship and the idea is that the befriender will get as much out of the visits as the senior citizen.
“As a charity, we are acutely aware of the impacts that loneliness can have on an older person’s health and wellbeing,” said Sam Humphray, chief executive of Age UK Bromsgrove, Redditch and Wyre Forest.
“However, we also know the difference our Befriending and Care Call service makes to members of the local community, with people regularly telling us how much they value the ability to talk, listen and share information with another human being, who they feel they can trust and rely upon.
“We are really grateful for the funding that we have received through the Community Grant Scheme to help support the development of the service in Redditch, but in order for us to reach and support more people we need the support of local residents, who can regularly commit to an hour or so a week to visit a local, older person, to become Befrienders so I would like to appeal to people to get in touch with us to find out how they can get involved.”
To find out more call Jo Hughes at Age UK BRWF on 01527 868855 or email Jo.Hughes@ageukbrwf.org.uk.
- For 3.6 million people aged 65 the television is the main form of company.
- More than one in three people aged 75 and over say that feelings of loneliness are out of their control.
- More than 80 per cent of people agree there are lots of actions everyone can take in their daily lives to help those feeling lonely.
- £1 invested in tackling loneliness saves society £1.26.