In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to make some important changes to our services to ensure the safety of the older people and volunteers we work with. Social distancing measures have had a huge impact on the services we can currently deliver, the roles played by our volunteers, and the way that we work day to day. 

We know that during the last six months, older people will have and still are experiencing feelings of increased isolation as their regular activities are cancelled. To ensure that we are meeting these additional needs we have adapted and increased our service provision since lockdown to include the following:

  • Made 529 individual phone calls to our service users at the beginning of lockdown to see how they were doing and assess their needs
  • Converted our existing face-to-face befriending relationships to telephone befriending, with volunteers phoning their matched person on a weekly basis
  • Set up over 47 new telephone befriending matches
  • We have now provided guidance to our volunteer befrienders on making socially distanced visits in an outdoor space where appropriate to do so
  • We started a shopping service and our volunteers have supported 44 service users with food shopping, 28 on a regular basis and 16 ad-hoc trips
  • Collected and delivered prescriptions for service users
  • Suspended all of our activity groups and started moving some of these to virtual platforms
  • Three different ‘craft packs’ have been assembled and delivered to our service users for them to do at home
  • Thanks to a grant from the Bring Joy Foundation we have been able to deliver free books and puzzles to our service users
  • Connecting service users to other organisations who can offer further support
  • Processed over 45 new volunteer applications
  • Converted our group volunteer inductions to online
  • Held two virtual ‘Volunteer Get Togethers’ on zoom where volunteers have a chance to chat, share their volunteering experience and let us know of any questions or concerns they have about their volunteering
  • Trained 20 volunteers to complete our service user survey over the phone using an online form.

We are still accepting referrals of people who are aged 60 years and over and living within the London borough of Southwark. We are calling each person referred to us to assess their individual needs and how we can support them at this time. 

Our mission is to help older people in our community feel less lonely. This has not changed, we have simply had to adapt how we achieve our mission to ensure the safety of those who matter most to us, our service users and volunteers.

If you would like any further information about our services or volunteering opportunities, please call the office on 020 8299 2623 and leave a message and a member of our team will get back to you.

As the situation changes we will be updating our website and social media so please do check back for regular updates.