Keighley Volunteer Centre

CARELINK BEFRIENDING SCHEME FOR OLDER PEOPLE

We aim to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation experienced by older people living alone and improve their quality of life.

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    Category

  • Health/WellbeingHealth/Wellbeing

    Helping

  • Older PeopleOlder People

Location

Situation

One million older people in the UK regularly go for a whole month at a time without seeing friends, family or neighbours according to research carried out by Help The Aged. On-going loneliness and isolation can have a profound effect on older people living alone, resulting in a loss of confidence and self esteem which over time, has a negative impact on their health and quality of life. We have a team of 40 volunteer befrienders and a full-time paid co-ordinator, who are currrently befriending 64 older people. Additional funding would enable us to recruit a support worker who would visit and befriend older people with more challenging needs who may be difficult to link up with a volunteer. CarelinK was set up in January 2006 with 3 years funding from the Big Lottery Fund, supplemented by funding from Social Services. We have also received several small, one-off grants from a variety of charitable foundations that have enabled us to develop the project further by setting up appropriate social activities aimed at putting our isolated service users in touch with each other and providing them with opportunities to develop their social support networks.

Solution