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Council backing Reconnections to tackle loneliness

rcjs Published Monday, 27th February 2017

Are you feeling lonely this time of year? Reconnections is a free service led by Age UK (H&W) for residents of Worcestershire who want to connect with people, places or activities in their community.

Perhaps you have been widowed or retired recently. Maybe you just don’t seem to have any friends nowadays. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and you can quickly lose the confidence and enthusiasm needed to meet new people or go to things on your own.

Reconnections matches people to volunteers with similar interests who live locally. You may want home visits so you have some company, and time to talk properly or do something together. You might want to get out of the house and would like someone to go with you.

Commissioned by Worcestershire County Council, Reconnections has already attracted over 1,000 referrals and hundreds of applicant volunteers.

The County Council is backing Reconnections to tackle loneliness and isolation in Worcestershire, and both the Cabinet Member for Health and Well-being, and Director of Public Health recently signed the Reconnections pledge; to raise awareness, increase referrals, and encourage volunteering.

Cllr John Smith, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Health and Well-Being said: "Figures suggest that over a million people aged 65 and over regularly experience loneliness, and it is very important that we address this devastating problem. In tackling the health effects of loneliness, we will also be helping to reduce accompanying costs and pressure on health and social care services.

"We are proud of the positive impact Reconnections is having on lonely people across Worcestershire, and I am delighted to sign the Reconnections pledge."

Dr Frances Howie, Director of Public Health, said: “There are an estimated 35,000 lonely people in Worcestershire and many don’t see anyone from one day to the next. The mental and physical health harm from loneliness can be profound. Already over 1,000 people have been referred, and there have been hundreds of volunteers register an interest, so the response has been fantastic.

"Thanks to the success of a recent volunteer drive, during which over 100 people applied to be volunteers, Reconnections is now eager to hear from people who may be feeling isolated, or know of somebody who is. Making a referral is easy, so if you have any concerns, please contact Reconnections."

It’s easy to make a referral. You can call 01905 740954 or apply online at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RREFERRAL

If you would like to volunteer with Reconnections you can apply here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RECONNECTIONS