Every Friday morning since April I have been volunteering for a local charity in the heart of the Black Country, in Black Heath, Rowley Regis. It is a lunch and social club which aims to bring people in the community together over lunch and to alleviate the social isolation which affects many people over the age of 65. For some members it will be the only time during the week that they leave their homes.
Loneliness and social isolation are harmful to our health: research shows that lacking social connections is as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (Holt-Lunstad, 2015).
The Campaign to End Loneliness is communicating with, convincing and persuading those who make choices about health and care spending to tackle and prevent loneliness. You can find out more by following the link above.
Volunteering is a great way to get involved in your local community and benefits you as a volunteer and also the people in your community who need some interaction. The Dudley Age UK Good Neighbour Scheme is looking for people who are able to spare one hour a week to befriend an older person at risk of isolation and loneliness. If you have an hour a week to spare and want to help people in your own community, think about giving it a try. It may be the best thing you have ever done.