Following the Government’s decision to move into the ‘Delay’ phase of their national emergency plan we took the organisational decision to suspend our regular social gatherings for the time being.
Our priority right now is to ensure that older people stay connected during the Coronavirus crisis and to make sure that they do not get forgotten at what is a particularly scary time for many of them.
Over the last couple of weeks, thanks to our volunteers, 84% of all the older people who are in our groups are now receiving regular phone calls from call companions and callers are being lined up for the remaining people who do want a call (some have opted out as changed circumstances mean they don’t need a caller).
Our focus now is to scale up call companions to reach more older people. We will be putting out a call for new volunteer call companions. If you know of anyone who would value a call companion, then please sign them up through our usual referral process and we can support you in getting them up and running.
We are also proactively looking into new ways of reducing social isolation including setting up telephone befriending for older people we can’t currently reach and the creation of virtual groups using simple technology.
We have been working on the development of both these projects as part of our diversification strategy, so in some cases are ready to move forward quickly and so we are stepping up these efforts currently in response to the virus outbreak.
We will continue to update this page as things progress and to bring news of the important and innovative ways that our amazing volunteers are continuing to help the older people at this unsettling time.