Thursday, 19 February 2015

Fiona, Development Worker, Re-Connect

How would you like to go for a month without seeing anyone? How would you feel? Isolated? Depressed? Lonely?

I in 10 people aged 65 and over say they are always lonely or feel lonely…. (Age UK)

Healthy Valleys in partnership with Healthy n Happy Community Development Trust have been delivering a project called Re-Connect South Lanarkshire, which is a volunteer led service aimed at reducing isolation and loneliness in older people by supporting them to connect with their communities.

The project was developed to meet local need in recognition that social isolation and loneliness impacts not only on an individual’s quality of life but their mental health and wellbeing.

As the Development Worker responsible for delivering the service in rural Clydesdale I have been working with a small team of volunteers supporting over 50 participants.

To help us better understand the impact Re-Connect has had on our participants a consultation exercise was undertaken in August 2014.

Our key findings were;

·         100% reported Re-Connect had a positive impact on their lives

·         90% reported that participation in Re-Connect reduced their isolation

What made it effective?

·         85% said 1-1 support from their volunteer

·         85% said practical help to overcome challenges eg using public transport

Projects like Re-Connect do make a difference and we want to continue to improve the lives of older people living in our community who are lonely and need our support.

We are currently awaiting the outcome of a funding bid to the BIG Lottery to continue Re-Connect over the next 3 years. So fingers crossed!!  I’ll keep you posted.  Fiona

Just take a moment to think………..

What impact would feeling lonely have on your life? How motivated would you be to do the ordinary everyday things like housework, going out and about, eating healthily or taking good care of yourself?
PS  Fantastic News....we were successful in our bid to the BIG Lottery!!!

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