Sovereign’s support to end loneliness during the lockdown

Lady arranging flowers at home

Sovereign Housing Association is helping their elderly Devon residents keep busy and keep loneliness at bay during lockdown.

Sovereign is supporting National Safeguarding Adults Week by handing out activity packs and linking up with a new befriending service to help people who may be alone or suffering from social isolation.

The Safeguarding week starts today, Monday 16 November, and with funding from Sovereign’s Communities Fund over 500 activity packs have been purchased for residents in Sovereign’s housing for older people schemes.

This is the second time Sovereign have provided activity packs for residents. A similar initiative earlier this year saw around 200 packs delivered to vulnerable residents.

The activity packs, which contain colouring pads, paint by numbers, puzzles, pencils and pens are being delivered to the most vulnerable and needy residents in housing for older people schemes in Devon.

Tracey Scutter, Wellbeing Officer for Sovereign, said: “This is the second bundle of packs that our Concierge team have distributed to residents since March this year. It’s really made a difference to our residents, some of whom have found the last few months quite difficult.  It’s been great all working together as one!”

Residents have been highly appreciative. Lesley Sarginson, said: “These packs are lovely and takes me right back to when I was at school when I use to be good at art and I am going to make these into Christmas cards.”

To support the wider community in Devon, Sovereign have also funded Linking Lives UK with £6,290 from their Sovereign Community Grants fund, delivered through The Good Exchange - an on-line platform which provides access to grants, donations and fundraising in one place for Charities.

Linking Lives UK is a national Christian charity that has many years of experience equipping local churches to respond to the needs of people suffering from loneliness and social isolation.

The project aims to establish three new befriending projects within the first year, which will engage with around 100 isolated older people.

In response to the current Covid-19 pandemic the charity has developed an alternative way to address social isolation and has developed ‘Two’s Company’, a telephone befriending service. The project will link with organisations working with isolated older people such as GP’s surgeries, social prescribers, social workers, charities or emergency Covid-19 hubs.

Richard Taylor, Regional Development Officer, Linking Lives, said: “It is as vital as ever that ongoing support is available to those who are most struggling with loneliness, particularly during ‘lockdown’.

“We are eager to talk to churches about how they can respond effectively in their local communities and explore using the tried and tested models that Linking Lives UK has to offer”.