Southend United Community & Educational Trust (SUCET) have been running the 'Tackling Loneliness Together' project to tackle loneliness among older people in Southend-on-Sea and surrounding areas.
Tackling Loneliness Together is backed by the EFL Trust and the Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport to support EFL Club Community Organisations in 32 deprived locations across England with the aim of connecting more older people at risk of loneliness.
Support is provided across four key areas: face-to-face, postal, virtual, and phone. SUCET participants have been sent activity packs in the post, received regular phone calls from staff, been on Walk & Talk events in the local area, and attended socially distanced pop-up cafes at Roots Hall.
Participant Ellen has found the project a great way of getting out and socialising with new people.
“I love it,” she said. “You meet so many people from different walks of life.
“This has given me something to do and something to get up for.
“We are all on our own, our partners have passed away, so we have found the social element really important.”
The social element has been particularly key at a time when many older people are indoors due to Coronavirus.
Participant Vera has similarly enjoyed the experience and can’t praise SUCET staff enough for their help.
“We thoroughly enjoy it – the quizzes, the bingo, the coffee and cake, everything!
“The past few months with Coronavirus have been really hard.
“It has made us come out as we are in a lot now, especially us older people. We have a laugh and a chat with everybody, and it has really brightened us all up.
“April and Frank from SUCET have been very good and supportive and they are such nice people.”
For more information about Tackling Loneliness Together, please contact April Smith on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01702 341351.