In 2018, I found myself at work eating cake with a vivacious lady in her 70s.
Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have supported Re-engage since 2017 so myself and my colleagues took the opportunity to celebrate our partnership by hosting a tea party for older guests and volunteers at our offices in Edinburgh.
As I chatted to my new companion, I discovered she had a South London accent a lot like mine and we had so much in common. We were from the same area; we’d moved to the same city; we both missed our families.
That was two years ago and in recent times it seems our worlds have shrunk even further.
Since March, we’ve all been faced with an unenviable dilemma. It’s a time when self-isolation can save the lives of those at risk from Coronavirus; yet maintaining human contact has never been more important.
There are 2.2 million people aged 75 and over living alone in Britain, with 1 in 2 older people saying that their main source of company is the TV. There are few lonelier places to be than in the middle of a global pandemic, which is why it’s vital that players are supporting charities like Re-engage.
Re-engage has shown tremendous commitment to achieving its vision of a world where no one is ever too old to make friends and enjoy social interaction.
In recent months, it opened its doors to 2,000 new volunteers who signed up to be call companions, regularly sharing laughter, stories and the power of connection with older people across the UK by phone.
Since 2017, £1.4 million in funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery has made it possible for Re-engage to give older people a voice and bring people together through tea parties, call companions and their Community Christmas work.
The funding from players is flexible and unrestricted, which means that charities like Re-engage can use it where it will make the most difference, which is particularly important in these times of uncertainty and unprecedented change.
Back at our tea party in Edinburgh, I bumped into a colleague after the event who was incredibly moved by her conversation with an older guest. When I asked her about it recently, she told me the memory had stayed with her.
“I just remember her being so adamant about me having a thirst for life and she encouraged me to take every opportunity that came my way,” she told me.
For us here at People’s Postcode Lottery, these opportunities to connect with Re-engage inspire us and show us the impact this amazing charity has on the lives of thousands of people every day.
If you'd like to support this charity to keep this vital work going, please go to their donate page.
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