Loneliness Awareness Week 2022

17th June 2022

This week our charity has been marking Loneliness Awareness Week 2022 which aims to highlight this common problem and how we can help prevent it.

People can feel lonely or disconnected at any time of their lives but as a charity supporting older people in need, we know loneliness can especially affect older people. Some may have more limited mobility and opportunity to go out, and some are still anxious about socialising as we emerge from the pandemic.

Feeling lonely can be a useful prompt for us to look at how we can meet our social needs better. Fortunately, at Whiteley Village we are lucky to have a community choir and our residents organise and run numerous clubs and societies, including a Friendship Club.

Recently our Housing and Support Team helped residents relaunch their Drop In event, which is held weekly at our extra care centre, Huntley House and supported by three of our volunteers. Since the end of Covid restrictions we have been gradually restarting our activities and trying to encourage and support residents to start meeting up together again.

Members of the Drop-In group: Peggy, Maggie, Barbara, Ros, Val and Mary said they were doing their best to encourage others to start coming along. One said: “We do quizzes and games, but it’s just nice to get together for a chat. It’s easy to get down on your own at home so it’s nice to have a reason to go out and to have someone to talk to.”

But action to prevent loneliness and isolation goes on year-round here at Whiteley and our support workers play a key role in that. We also have an active Community Team who recently organised a series of events and activities around the village to promote health and wellbeing, with the support of our Clubhouse Team and some of our local partners including the council. There were cooking events, nature walks, arts and crafts and an afternoon tea with cake and fizz which was very popular!

The team also help to signpost and promote events and support available in the local community to our residents, including a transport service run by the local council. The continuing impact of Covid means we know there’s still lots of caution out there, but with the sunny weather and increasing numbers of events and opportunities to get together available, we’re hoping both confidence and the numbers of participants will continue to grow.

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