Social landlord encourages tenants to support older people

  • A social landlord is appealing to people who are willing to offer friendship and support as part of a pioneering service to support older people in Cheshire. /images/careandsupport.jpg

    The Regenda Group is trialling the new project in Macclesfield where they are recruiting volunteers to help people over the age of 55 and feel lonely and isolated, reports 24dash.

    The service, "Time2Chat" differs from similar schemes due to volunteers spending much longer with older people, with at least an hour every week. If it is successful, Regenda plan to extend the service, which is free, across the North West.

    Volunteers will be required to provide reference and pass background checks. They will also be given full training before they begin making visits and will receive on-going support and monitoring.

    Coordinator Helen Marks, Regenda's neighbourhood officer, decided to launch Time2Chat after receiving a telephone call from an elderly tenant.

    "What started off as a routine phone call turned into a 20 minute conversation about all sorts of things including baking and 'The Great British Bake Off' on television! When I eventually put the phone down, I said to myself ‘bless her, she just wanted a friend to talk to.' That one phone really call made me think more needs to be done to help older people who feel lonely. You don't need to live in a remote, rural location to feel isolated, even people living on a housing estate can often feel lonely and cut off. Ideally we would like to match older people with volunteers who have similar interests, visiting them in the comfort and safety of their own house. Eventually they might visit lunch clubs or attend local events together. Volunteers will be expected to spend at least an hour a week with older residents, more if they can spare the time."

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