Posted: 06.04.21 at 10:04 by The Editor
A new visiting scheme is to launch in Bedworth this spring to help combat loneliness and isolation in the local elderly community.
‘Good Neighbours Bedworth’ is a project that has been launched on the back of the success of Good Neighbours Coventry, and will be funded by Bedworth Parish Church and supported by Together for Bedworth.
The project will see volunteers give around an hour of their time each week to sit and speak with an elderly person who may live alone, or is in some way feeling disconnected from other people.
The Coventry programme, which has been running for some four years now, saw a huge upsurge in referrals during the past 12 months as the issues surrounding isolation and loneliness were laid bare for all to see.
Anybody aged 18 and above can apply to volunteer; there is even a volunteer in Coventry who is 90 years old!
Full training and free DBS checks will be provided for volunteers.
Local area co-ordinator Jackie Kemp said: “we are looking for volunteers who will give up an hour a week for some companionship, to chat and just to be with another person because that is what we have been missing over the past year.
“If you are a younger person, just imagine that you are having a conversation with a grandparent. You’re going there to learn about their life, to tell them about your life, make connections and meet new people.
“You do not need any experience at all, but just to be happy to chat and make a difference.”
As social restrictions continue to be lifted, Good Neighbours Bedworth will begin to visit people in their own homes, and then hopefully in the future host regular coffee mornings, and luncheon clubs to help connect isolated members of the community, and to help ease them back into getting out and about.
Jackie also highlighted how cathartic the volunteer experience itself can be. “There are also young people suffering from loneliness, and even though we cannot accommodate everybody, actually volunteering itself can be a way of overcoming that.
“You get a lot of wellbeing from volunteering so it has been very good for younger people to volunteer and to help themselves at the same time.”
The scheme is also looking to expand its network of vulnerable people, to ensure that as many people who are in need are given that support.
Families or individuals can refer someone who may benefit from a companion directly to the service; anybody who feels like they may benefit can also refer themselves.
To do so, simply call or text 07763 908460 - or email [email protected] More information can be found on the Good Neighbours Bedworth Facebook page.