What is the issue?
- One third of over-75s usually spend more than 12 hours a day on their own
- One in 10 of the over-75s say they feel ‘intensely lonely all of the time’
- One in eight older people who are lonely said they worry about their mental health because they have no one to talk to
- A recent BMJ survey said that social isolation was ‘like obesity’
- At the last census 20% of Bournemouth population were over-65
Some excellent work is already being done to address this need …
- 25 lunch clubs see 400 people each week (80% of them are in churches)
- At least three community groups and churches run Christmas Day specials
- There are social groups for over-50s, many of which are in churches and some linked to visiting local care homes
- There are specialist clubs for men, widows, and carers
- There are several befriending organisations, including AgeUK, Help & Care, Faithworks Wessex; plus other specialists (Dorset Blind Association, SSAFA)
(Source: taken from Hope In the Community’s website)
Did you know that the mission statement of Hope in the Community is to: ‘Combine the resources, compassion and localness of the churches that are in every community to ‘re-connect’ 1,000 older people in Bournemouth so that we stop the increase in loneliness in our town.’
Would you like to be a part of this mission?
Hope in the Community have a scheme linking befrienders with any lonely folk aged 65 or over in our area. The scheme has more people that need befriending than it currently has befrienders.
Do you feel that you could give a little regular time to drop in to chat with someone who’s feeling lonely? Or help at a regular club or event? Or be willing to drive people to activities? Or even become a telephone befriender? Just a couple of hours per month could transform a lonely life.
We currently have two lovely volunteers from St Saviour’s who are going through the support and training process to become befrienders, but we need more. Do you think that this is something God might be calling you to do? If so, please contact Julie Melvin via firstname.lastname@example.org or via the office. Thank you for reading this.
Julie Melvin, Hope in the Community representative