The late MP, Jo Cox, said ‘‘I will not live in a country where thousands of people are living lonely lives forgotten by the rest of us.’’
Yet, it’s a sad but striking fact that over 9 million people in the UK – almost a fifth of the population – say they are always or often lonely.
It may sound strange, but by simply swimming a few lengths of the Queen’s Park Sports Centre pool, in Chesterfield, YOU could raise a valuable contribution to the Volunteer Centre’s Elderfriends project – designed specifically to reach out to local, elderly, isolated people; using a network of dedicated volunteers.
More than 1 in 3 people aged 75 and over, say that feelings of loneliness are out of their control.
This project gives people a chance to be more than a volunteer, they can be a real friend, an invaluable resource for so many socially excluded people. It currently provides a service for 120 over 50 year olds, BUT it carries a waiting list of 400 and an estimated 1500 people who have yet to register.
Incredibly, funding for our befriending project: Elderfriends, is actually decreasing year-on-year, while demand for the service increases. This has inspired us to launch the ‘Swim Against Loneliness’: an event to raise as much as possible, to make the greatest difference we can.