How many people in your street won’t speak to another person today? Perhaps more than you think. With two out of five older people saying that television is their main source of company, loneliness and isolation are a real problem in our changing communities.
Neighbours Connect Southmead is a local initiative which matches volunteers with the most isolated individuals in our community to spend time with them. The impact that it is having on the lives of people already involved in the project is huge.
For those who struggle to leave their home a volunteer can open up their world. Playing a game of cards, doing a bit of gardening or just having a cup of tea together can be the highlight of their day. For those who are more mobile, volunteers might support them to get out and develop their confidence to try new things.
Volunteer Community Supporter – Ruth
Why did you get involved in the project?
I wanted to be involved in something that supports isolated, elderly people. We put a lot of effort into getting into old age in society, but we don’t really as a whole, support people in the right way. So I think projects like this are fantastic.
What’s different about Neighbours Connect Southmead?
There’s so much red tape around various things that you do in life. When you can actually sit down and have a cup of tea with someone – it’s so genuine – you can really make a difference to their day.
What do you enjoy the most?
The stories can be fascinating and hilarious. You’re getting a completely different insight spending time with somebody completely new. Building up that relationship is really rewarding in itself.
To find out more about how you could volunteer for Neighbours Connect Southmead, go to our website .or contact Letty on 0117 950 3335 or
Neighbours Connect Southmead, Southmead Development Trust, Greenway Centre, Southmead, BS10 5PY.