Re-engage tackles loneliness in the most at-risk group: people aged 75+ who live alone. We help older people who are incredibly isolated to find new friends in their local communities or over the phone. With the support of volunteers we provide regular companionship and something to look forward to
It ran from 12:00 PM, 1 December 2020 to 12:00 PM, 8 December 2020
Registered Charity in England and Wales (1146149)
The tea parties really were the extent of my social life. Now we can’t meet but I have someone to chat on the phone to. I usually sit in front of the television from 4pm ‘til bedtime, so the calls break up my evenings. It’s nice to hear how people are doing, they really do care about us.
Re-engage has been a lifeline to me for two and a half years after the loss of my husband. I was on my own for the first time in 70 years. I was feeling very isolated. A friend saw the number on a London bus and insisted I phoned up for details. The best call I have ever made.
As I haven’t got family local to me, I was really excited by the idea of call companions. I have received a couple of calls so far form my call companion, Richard and it was lovely to hear from someone with a similar interest.
There are 2.2 million people aged 75+ who live alone in the UK, many of them experiencing near constant loneliness. The Coronavirus pandemic has intensified experiences of loneliness for older people; many have been suffering alone with feelings of fear, anxiety and grief. Being lonely is miserable, but it can also have a very damaging effect on physical health and mental wellbeing: lonely people with poor social connections are more likely to suffer from dementia, heart disease and depression.
We help isolated older people to build strong, long-term friendships with people of all ages. Through our telephone befriending service, Call Companions, older people have regular contact with a volunteer who shares their interests. When it is safe for older people to meet in person, we will also resume over 900 free social groups in local communities. Older people who join Re-engage report significant improvements in happiness and wellbeing, 97% say they now have something to look forward to.
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