Many of us understood more acutely what it means to feel isolated and lonely, for the first time, during the pandemic. Sadly, that extreme solitude was already too familiar to a lot of older people and whilst the lifting of restrictions has enabled most of us to have face-to-face contact with friends and fmaily, feelings of loneliness and isolation continue to be a constant reality in the daily life of many.
Today, more than 2.2 million people over the age of 75 live on their own. Research has found that 1.4 million older people often go for five or six days without seeing another person, significantly reducing their quality of life.
Re-engage gives nearly 8,000 older people the chance to make new friends, feel part of a community and improve their wellbeing. We know from the feedback we receive that our lifeline of friendship makes a world of difference.
“Loneliness isn’t something you notice when you’re young, I certainly didn’t. But then it creeps up on you and suddenly you realise so many people have gone. But these tea-parties lift that burden, and you get a chance to make new friends and feel connected.” Re-engage tea party guest, aged 95.
Ian, 85, has benefitted from the call companion service, “It means a lot to have someone to chat with every week. My family keep in touch, but it’s nice to talk to someone who isn’t in the family. It gives one the sense of being valued by society. The person who calls me has become a friend and I’m not someone who’s ever been particularly good at making new friendships. After the calls I always feel a sense of relief that somebody out there values my company.”
We know that there is still so much to do to address the endemic loneliness across our country and to give older people the chance of companionship and to regain a sense of community. We know from the feedback we receive that the lifeline of friendship our services offer make a world of difference.
One way you can help us achieve this is by remembering the work of Re-engage in your will. We know you will want to provide for your loved ones first, but if you are able, please consider a gift in your will to Re-engage. We promise to use every penny carefully, to bring companionship and connections to many more older people.
Volunteers' Week 2022 - meet Maya
As part of Volunteers' Week 2022 we caught up with one of our younger volunteers, Maya, who we got to know very well when she volunteered with our impact and engagement team. She enjoyed that experience so much that she is about to become a volunteer call companion.
Volunteers' Week 2022 - Meet Maureen and Sheila
To celebrate Volunteers' Week we caught up with former tea party coordinators, Maureen and Sheila who, between them, volunteered for a total of 100 years for Re-engage before retiring in 2021.