17 Jun 20

Loneliness Awareness Week 2020

Written by Brunelcare
Reading time: 3 minutes
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Loneliness Awareness Week 2020

This Loneliness Awareness Week, we want to encourage an open conversation about loneliness.

Loneliness Awareness Week is an annual week created to raise awareness of loneliness and encourage people to speak openly about their experiences.

A British Red Cross survey found that one in five people in the UK often or always feel lonely. At a time where family and friends are unable to visit each other, encouraging an open discussion about loneliness is more important than ever.

In an effort to help combat loneliness, particularly during this pandemic, we have introduced a number of new initiatives for people living across the Brunelcare community.

In April we launched our ‘Friends on the Phone’ initiative, matching residents and tenants with friendly volunteers for a weekly catch up over the phone. We have seen 33 successful matches since the initiative launched, including Sonia and Karen, who have formed a friendship through the scheme.

Sonia, a befriendee who lives at Brunelcare, said: “The regular call from Karen means a lot to me, it brightens my week. We talk a lot and we laugh a lot. Karen is absolutely delightful, we have really hit it off. I can't wait until we get to the point that we can meet in the flesh.”

Karen said: “My friend is a lovely lady called Sonia, she always amazes me with her positive outlook on life, she’s got stories to tell. I really enjoy our little natters. I couldn’t recommend it enough, doing something that may be out of your comfort zone is such a good thing to do and it feels good to know that the time and energy you give goes a long way to helping others cope with loneliness!”

During this time we also launched a pen pal scheme, encouraging members of the community to help combat loneliness by writing to those in our care.

Since launching the scheme in April, we have received over 350 drawings and letters from kind members of the community, bringing smiles to residents and tenants at Brunelcare and helping form lifelong friendships.

One tenant, Mary, has now received her third letter from her pen pal, and is excited to finally meet her once lockdown measures are lifted.

Mary said: “You’re never too old to make friends. Me and my pen pal have found out that we have a lot in common, we both love arts and crafts! I’ve been telling her all about my own volunteering, and my daughter and son-in-law who both volunteer at Colliers. I always look forward to receiving her letters, and I can’t wait to finally meet her after lockdown. I think this is going to be a friend for life.”

To find out more about our volunteer opportunities, click here.

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