by Houghton & Wyton Timebank - 18:01 on 08 February 2019
Loneliness is a huge problem for many people. Cambridgeshire County Council have launched a campaign called #50,000 Reasons to highlight the issue affecting 50,000 people over 65 in Cambridgeshire and Perterborough.
At Houghton and Wyton Timebank we are commited to offering support to all our members and helping those who may be affected by loneliness. Please take a minute to read ways you can help and visit the CCC campaign's website, linked above, for more ideas and videos.
We are also aware that loneliness can affect anyone at any age and the effects of loneliness can be devestating. There are 50,000 people over the age of 65 in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough who may be at risk of loneliness. Many older people can go a month or more without talking to a friend, family member or neighbour. Loneliness and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Together we can help end loneliness. There are many small things you can do to help- older people in Cambridgeshire have told us that even a smile, wave, or hello from another person can make all the difference. It only takes a few seconds to help someone feel less isolated.
Tips for connecting:
- Start with a ‘hello’, a wave, or even strike up a coversation
- Send a Christmas card to the older people in your street. You could include an offer of help, should they need it
- Reassure older neighbours by getting another neighbour to introduce you
- If you call on a neighbour, make your first call short. Give them the opportunity to see who you are, that you are genuine and show interest in them
- Have a 'mince pie moment'. Host a small, informal gathering on a Saturday or Sunday morning and invite your older neighbours to come along
- Take 10 minutes each week to phone a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while
- Write a letter to someone who has made a difference to your life
- Encourage children to greet older neighbours. Here is an uplifting video showing just that for a bit of inspiration.