Why are we doing this?
Through Circles of Support we would like to match volunteers with older people in Swindon who could really benefit from the extra help. This help and support will help older people lead a happy and fulfilling life in their later years, when it often becomes more difficult to carry out daily tasks.
A lot of our older people also become very isolated and lonely due to a number of reasons ranging from no family close by, friends passing away and decreased mobility. Research has shown that ‘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’.
There is a huge amount of research which demonstrates how badly isolation affects people in our society and a really good source of information can be found here.
What can you do?
Although isolation exists in our communities it is easy for us to address. A short visit to someone, or helping them take their bins out each week can change someones life and help them stay independent and happy.
In Circles of Support each volunteer can do as little or as much as they like and can work with one person, with a number of individuals or in a group setting. There is a huge range of activities you could do which would make a massive change to someones life and Circles of Support would like you to be as flexible as you need to make it work for you. Some examples of things you could do are:
Help with local neighbourhood activities
- Learn how to be a seated exercise leader
- Help out at a local coffee morning
- Visit someone for a chat once a week
- Set up a casserole club, tea club, or sharing a hot meal once in a while
Help someone get out and about
- Offer to give someone a lift to the shops
- Give someone the confidence to try a new activity by accompanying them on the first couple of visits
- Help someone take short walks
Help someone who doesn’t have much social contact
- One-to-one befriending – regular phone calls or visits
- Help with small practical tasks like changing lightbulbs, taking out bins, checking a fire alarm
- Help with cooking or shopping
We will support you and match you with someone who would like the help you have to offer.