Age UK’s research shows that a staggering 1.2 million older people in England are chronically lonely and 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with friends or family for an entire month. Age UK North Tyneside is on a mission to combat loneliness through its befriending service.
With new Government figures showing the proportion of adults feeling often or always lonely remaining unchanged in recent years, despite the higher profile being given to combating the problem through initiatives like the Jo Cox Commission, Age UK North Tyneside is urging people to be friendly to older people in their community.
It’s looking for volunteers to extend the hand of friendship by spending time on a weekly basis to make contact with an older person. By becoming their friend, volunteers would help to reduce their feelings of isolation, develop friendships and generally help the older generation stay connected with their local community.
The service links an older person with a volunteer on a weekly basis to have a chat, a cup of tea and provide companionship.
Alma Caldwell, Chief Executive of Age UK North Tyneside, said: “At Age UK North Tyneside we are big believers in building a happy community that connects people with each other, whatever their age or background, making the area a much nicer and friendlier place in which to live and work.
“Our befriender initiative makes a real difference throughout North Tyneside by offering a vital service to stop local older people from feeling alone.”
Age UK North Tyneside’s Befriender service relies heavily on volunteers and they are always on the lookout for people to help out in the local area. For more information on this service, and how you can help, please visit http://www.ageuk.org.uk/northtyneside or call the team on 0191 280 8484.