As we get older, our social circles tend to get smaller and spending more time alone becomes the norm. Loneliness can be difficult to deal with, and we often find that older residents become more isolated and lack companionship which can negatively affect their mental and physical wellbeing.
Re-engage is a nationwide charity on a mission to combat loneliness amongst older people through a number of befriending schemes and initiatives.
With funding from our Love Where You Live and Impact funds, we are partnering with Re-engage who will carefully match around 200 social housing and care and support residents aged over 75 with trained and vetted volunteers.
These volunteers – known as call companions – will provide life changing social connections and companionship through regular telephone conversations. Re-engage also offer the rainbow companions service for LGBT+ users over 75 who’d like to speak to someone who is also LGBT+.
Calls are scheduled weekly and last roughly half an hour. Each time, residents will speak to the same volunteer about anything that mutually interests them, giving them an opportunity to get to know each other and share laughter and stories.
Residents over the age of 75 can refer themselves to the programme or ask their housing officer for a referral if they feel they need it.
Residents over the age of 18, can also get involved by registering to become a volunteer where you will receive in-depth training and on-going support. Being a call companion can be an incredibly rewarding experience and gives you the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of older more isolated people.
Please remember, you can also speak to your housing officer for any additional support you may need with mental health and wellbeing, or have a look at the resources we have available on our support services page.