Community ideas we love
Here are some of our favourite projects already challenging loneliness:
NURSERIES AND CARE HOMES JOINING FORCES
It was impossible not to be moved by the recent Channel 4 documentary, Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds, where pre-schoolers made regular visits to a care home, with amazing consequences. Since then, many similar schemes have sprung up and some nurseries and care homes have even been located side by side, injecting some childish fun into older people’s lives.
MEN (AND WOMEN) IN SHEDS
First established in Australia in the Nineties, Men in Sheds has proved a brilliant project for men at risk of isolation to socialise in a workshop setting, doing DIY together. Involving around 9,000 men a year, a new Women in Sheds project has been trialled in Cheshire where widowed women, previously reliant on their husbands to do DIY, can learn practical skills while making new friends.
A cuppa and a chat, even for an hour a week, can make such a difference to a lonely person, especially someone who can’t get out and about. Age UK’s befriending service facilitates this simple, but effective solution as volunteer befrienders visit older people in their own home once a week.