Bonny Downs Community Association (BDCA) today announced that it has received funding to continue supporting lonely older people in Newham through the pandemic.
Allchurches Trust has awarded the charity £11,550 of Hope Beyond funding, allowing its befriending service for Newham elders to continue until the end of 2021.
- BDCA launched its befriending service at the start of the pandemic to support older people in the borough who were feeling lonely or isolated.
- Since then, 21 volunteers have provided 317 hours of phone-based befriending for almost 80 older people.
Befriending is one of a wider programme of joined-up services the charity offers to bring ‘years to life and life to years’ for older people in Newham. These include personal advocacy on a wide range of issues from housing to debt management; weekly social activities such as bingo and lunches; sports and fitness activities from circuit training to Tai Chi. Since March 2020, BDCA has run its activities online for elders where possible.
Dave Mann, Chairman of Bonny Downs Community Association, said:
“Many elders in our community are disadvantaged through poverty, disability, illiteracy or struggling with bereavement or poor health. In too many cases, the pandemic has increased their isolation as they have no family nearby or can’t meet with their usual social groups because of restrictions.
“Our online activities and phone befriending service have been a lifeline for many elders, providing comfort, friendship and encouragement at a challenging time. We’re delighted that Allchurches Trust has recognised the loneliness many older people continue to face in Newham and we are extremely thankful for their continued partnership and funding of our befriending work.”
Older people wishing to join the service are invited to contact Clem Richards during business hours by calling 07449 105 436 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Referral partners can learn more and refer clients via our website here.