The impact of social isolation and loneliness is devastating. It can impact upon an individuals’ physical health as well as their mental wellbeing.
As one older person said “I was sitting in a house between something like seven in the morning until ten at night. Most days I had nobody here at all, so I needed somebody to talk to, otherwise you end up talking to yourself.”
Social isolation and loneliness can affect anyone at any age, however older people can be more vulnerable due to loss of friends and family as well as changes in their health and mobility.
There are many excellent organisations and projects across East Renfrewshire that provide services to help older people feel less lonely or isolated. One of those is Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire (VAER).
The services provided make a huge difference to the lives of the individuals they support, as well as their family and carers. All of these services exist as a result of dedicated volunteers who give a little bit of their time to help.
And that’s where you come in. There are still people in East Renfrewshire who are experiencing social isolation and loneliness right now.
In order to reach them, VAER need more people to volunteer. Even just an hour a week will have a huge impact. There are a wide variety of roles you can get involved with. You could become a 1:1 befriender with the Seniors Together Project, a driver for Community Transport East Renfrewshire, a day care volunteer or a driver with Age Concern Eastwood perhaps even a Home from Hospital buddy. There is a role for everyone.
As one volunteer Linda told The Extra: “I’ll be old myself one day and hopefully there will be someone out there for me. I just thought if you can give a few hours of your time in the week to brighten up someone’s day or their week, then why not you know. It doesn’t cost me a penny to help bring a little light into someones darkness. For all I know, I might be their only friendly face in a week.”
Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire work with, and support organisations to deliver these services. If you are interested in finding out more about the organisations involved or would like to get involved with one of the volunteering roles, please contact us on 0141 876 9555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org