Charity needs your help to combat loneliness among elderly people

The Age UK shop in Polegate is appealing to Polegate people who would like to connect with their community through volunteering.

Wednesday, 28th December 2016, 7:00 am
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Age UK Polegate is hoping to attract new volunteers who would like to meet new people and have a few spare hours to offer each week, either behind the scenes or on the shop floor.

As well as helping the charity generate much needed funds to support older people, Age UK hopes that it can reach out to older people seeking new challenges and companionship through volunteering.

In a recent survey, one third of Age UK volunteers said they gave their time in a shop because they enjoy socialising and meeting new people.

Volunteering is a great way to form new friendships, learn new skills and feel part of a team – all helpful ways to combat loneliness.

Stewart Cox has been volunteering in an Age UK shop for 16 months and has benefitted enormously.

He said, “It’s got me back into meeting new people. Every day is a good moment!

“I didn’t realise how lonely people were, especially the older people that come into the shop.

“I get a chair and put it next to the till and have a chat.

“I think that’s what Age UK is all about.”

New research from Age UK reveals that almost a million (982,200) of people over 60 feel lonelier at Christmas time – with those who are single, separated or widowed feeling it the most.

As the charity publishes new figures showing the stark reality of loneliness amongst older people at this time of year, Age UK has released two short films with actors James Bolam MBE and Miriam Margolyes OBE narrating real life stories of loneliness to support Age UK’s No One Should Have No One at Christmas campaign. These poignant films are the real stories of Roy and Janet, who are supported by Age UK’s telephone befriending service that provides weekly friendship calls.

Steve Wooldridge, head of retail operations at Age UK, said, “We are very proud that volunteering in our shops provides people with a wonderful circle of support and friendship which helps tackle loneliness.”

For more information about volunteering in Polegate, call Sheila on 483180.