Coronavirus crisis can’t stop us tackling loneliness!

During the current coronavirus lockdown it’s more important than ever that we don’t forget those who may already have been feeling lonely or isolated - especially if they have no-one else to look out for them during these difficult times.

As we recently celebrated Mental Health Awareness Week (May 18 -24) it’s worth highlighting how one of our award-winning projects is continuing its good work in tackling loneliness and isolation in and around Staffordshire.

Led by Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH), part of Housing Plus Group, BeConnected has helped scores of elderly, disabled or otherwise isolated members of the community to make new friends and engage in a wide range of activities.

Due to the lockdown, its usually packed programme of social events has been put on hold. But the project’s vital mission has continued and the ongoing restrictions haven’t prevented it carrying on with its vital work.

While it’s not been possible to continue with our fun and free events where members can meet face-to-face, we’ve made sure they can stay in touch by telephone.

Volunteers led by BeConnected coordinator Alison have been busy making calls that provide much more than reassurance and the comfort of hearing a friendly voice.

Together they’ve offered advice on accessing mental wellbeing services and foodbanks as well as help with the delivery of food and medication.

Most importantly they’ve been making sure people are safe and well and have access to essential services while feeling someone cares about them.

The calls, which have also led to customers getting in touch with each other for regular chats have been well received.

One customer, Rosemary Roberts said Stafford and Rural Homes are amazing and are doing a wonderful job.

She went on to say that it was nice to know someone is looking out for her and that help was at hand should she need it.

Pauline Lawrence from Highfields in Stafford has also benefitted from the calls and said members of the SARH team and volunteers are doing a fantastic job and are genuinely interested in how she is doing.

Launched in 2017 with the help of Stafford Borough Council, BeConnected is also supported by The National Lottery Community Fund, which is helping to enable the project to look at new ways of helping customers connect with each other, whilst staying safe.

The feedback shows the project continues to go from strength to strength and even Covid-19 can’t stop it. In fact, in these uncertain times, it’s proving more valuable than ever and clearly illustrates how we’re striving to make a positive difference to homes, lives and communities in the areas we serve.

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