The British Red Cross in Corby has welcomed the publication of the Government’s loneliness strategy for England.
One of the key recommendations in the strategy, which highlights the growing problem of loneliness, is the expansion of ‘social prescribing’.
That’s something the British Red Cross Community Connector scheme in Corby, funded through a partnership with Co-op, is doing.
The scheme has supported people to go to bingo, keep fit classes, attend social groups for older people and volunteer at an animal shelter.
The scheme provides free, one-to-one help over 12 weeks to people experiencing loneliness and social isolation.
Trained volunteers and staff talk to people about their interests and link them with activities in their local area to help them get out and make new friends, keeping loneliness at bay.
People can sign themselves up for help, or be referred through a GP, social worker or friend or family member – and the help is open to anyone over the age of 18.
Anastasia Petrovskaya, community connector for Corby, said: “Our research has shown that one in five people say they always or often feel lonely so I am sure there are people in Corby who are currently feeling alone or isolated from their community and we would like to help.
“It could be someone who has been bereaved, recently become a mum at a young age or is experiencing a long term health condition meaning it’s harder for them to get out and about.
“We can help people identify what they would like to do to reconnect with their communities and provide the practical and emotional support to make small steps towards it.
“If anyone reading this is feeling lonely or knows someone who may be – please get in touch, we are here to help.”
The Connecting Communities scheme is funded through the British Red Cross partnership with Co-op, set up in 2015 to tackle loneliness across the UK.
The British Red Cross has also been working closely with the government to feed in recommendations to yesterday’s loneliness strategy and is continuing to call for ‘loneliness checks’ to be made during medical appointments in the same way a GP might ask about other lifestyle factors such as smoking or exercise.
If you’re feeling isolated and alone and don’t know where to turn to for help, contact the Corby Connecting Communities service on 03450 547171, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit redcross.org.uk/lonely.