Four walls, no knocks on the door
“Nobody ever called to see me. All I had was the television and four walls to stare at”, says Rose. “I used to hope that someone would come and talk with me; just a nice chat; but after a couple of years you stop fooling yourself and just accept the constant quiet”.
“It’s not easy when your family don’t live nearby and your friends have all died”, says Jack. “I used to go to the pub to chat to people, but my legs aren’t up to going out anymore. I used to like to talk about the football with my friends. I miss the banter”.
There are too many people like Jack and Rose who are good, kind and warm but terribly lonely people. That is why Sefton’s two clinical commissioning groups (the NHS) give Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton a grant to provide a lifeline befriending service for lonely, older people. They recognise that loneliness kills hope and eventually kills the body. Research has shown that it can take years off your life and be as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
It doesn’t have to be like this. With your help and our support, we can be the vital difference in someone’s life. We have volunteers from all over Sefton who visit older people who are lonely and isolated, bringing the outside world into their home; giving them a little laughter and a friendly face. It is not just a one-way relationship either. Our volunteers tell us that they get lots out of it. They feel better about themselves, they have fun chatting to the older person they are matched with and they know that their visit is appreciated and makes a tremendous difference.
Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton’s Befriending and Re-ablement service helps local people aged 50 plus, living in Sefton by matching them up with a volunteer befriender. Staff members known as Befriending & Re-ablement Officers visit those using the service prior to being matched with a volunteer befriender to ensure that they know exactly the right person for each individual to make a good match. The workers are always at the end of a phone, so if you have any problems or worries, we are here to support you.
If you think you could spare an hour a week to visit someone who is feeling lonely, please contact us on 01704 542 993. After all, giving a little time can make a BIG difference.
As Rose says now, “It has been lovely having a new friend. I have found Sarah to be very kind and helpful to me- she has become a real friend to me; she listens, which is what a lot of people don’t do”.
(Names have been changed to protect the individual’s identity)