Hundreds of lonely and isolated older people will be receiving regular visitors, thanks to a grant of £7,600 to the West Norfolk Befrienders charity from Norfolk Freemasons.
Loneliness among older people is an increasing problem. There are some older people who have not had a meaningful conversation with another human being for more than a month. Studies have shown that loneliness can have a profound impact on physical and mental health.
Any older person can be affected by loneliness. Often family and friends have died or moved away, with many having children that have emigrated. Widowers are often particularly affected as their wives were in charge of their joint social lives. The grant will be used to assess and match the clients and recruit, train and support volunteers.
West Norfolk Befrienders provides trained volunteers to visit people who are unable to leave their homes, as well as various community social events, such as lunches and coffee mornings. The charity also provides one to one visits in care homes.
Pippa May, Chief Executive of West Norfolk Befriending, said:
“We’re very grateful for the generous grant from Norfolk Freemasons, which will help us to stay in contact with hundreds of local older people who would otherwise not have meaningful contact with another human being from one week to the next.”
Head of Norfolk Freemasons, Stephen Allen said:
“I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help West Norfolk Befrienders with their hugely important work. It’s so important elderly lonely and often housebound people in our community are not left without regular social contact”.