Connections and community: our Winter Wellbeing project is here!

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Across the road from me lives 86-year-old John, a widower who lives alone. John has 7 daughters who live all over the city - one of whom lives on the same street as him. John regularly receives meals from his daughter– I often see him making his way up the street with a warm dinner and a big smile on his face. John keeps active: he regularly goes out for day trips, seeing his large family and nipping to the bookies at the end of the street.

However, not everyone is like John. In the UK, two fifths all older people (about 3.9 million) say the television is their main company. Many of our older neighbours can find it difficult to know where to turn when problems crop up. During the winter months, things can become even more difficult. High fuel costs and draughty windows can make it tricky to heat the home, and the icy weather and short days mean people are less inclined to get out, increasing isolation.

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That’s why we’re launching our first ever Winter Wellbeing project. We’ll be striking up conversations with our older neighbours in pharmacies, supermarkets, GP surgeries and libraries: checking in, building relationships and showing we care.  Working in the heart of neighbourhoods across the city, we’ll be knocking on neighbours’ doors asking to see if they need some extra help over the colder months of the year. 

From November to March, for people aged 65 or over in Liverpool we can:

  • Deliver free blankets, hats, socks, gloves and hot water bottles to older people who are struggling to keep warm;
  • Support people whose circumstance are particularly difficult with winter grants of up to £100 which can be used for fuel bills, winter coats and other items to help with the cold;
  • Help connect people to organisations who can provide benefits and energy saving advice as well as help at home with broken boilers, changing providers and installing draught prevention measures;
  • Sign people up to our free monthly Social Clubs which run year round – including technology workshops, dances and visits to local museums and galleries;
  • Match older neighbours up with younger volunteers for weekly visits through our Love Your Neighbour programme for friendship, company and a chat.
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We’d love your help in making the cold and dark winter months brighter for your older neighbours. This might be a smile or hello at a bus stop, a wave or conversation with that person you walk past or lives three doors down from you, or putting us in contact with any older people in the Liverpool city region who you think would like some support this winter. Or you could sign up here to volunteer with our Love Your Neighbour or social clubs programmes.

We’re all in this together – let’s create strong Scouse bonds and look after one another this winter!

Rachael Treacher

Posted by Rachael Treacher on Friday 2nd November 2018

Rachael Treacher is the Volunteer and Outreach Officer at Liverpool Cares: she manages our community network of younger and older neighbours. 

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