Scheme set up to combat isolation

Published on: 02 Jul 2013

A SURGERY in Downend has teamed up with a charity to help elderly people experiencing loneliness.

Leap Valley Surgery has joined forces with RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) to create a patient befriending scheme to combat feelings of isolation.

Volunteers can visit the less mobile and elderly patients for a cup of tea and a chat, whether it be on a regular or ad hoc basis.

The scheme also covers things like collecting shopping and small DIY jobs.

People are living longer – with the proportion of people aged over 75 rising rapidly, and over half of the over 75-year-olds live alone and have few friends or relatives nearby.

It is a proven fact that an older person’s quality of life can quickly deteriorate through fragility or disability.  Frustrated when simple tasks become a struggle, people who live alone can become increasingly lonely and isolated.

Leap Valley, based in Fouracre Road, chose to work alongside RSVP as the charity has helped to create similar schemes in Bristol and North Somerset.

RSVP is active across England, Scotland and Wales and is a part of CSV (Community Service Volunteers).

The charity specialises in engaging and supporting volunteers aged 50 plus who wish to become active in their community.

There are currently 17,000 volunteers, giving their time in communities and there are more than 250 different RSVP projects and services.

To operate the befriending scheme the surgery requires help and is currently recruiting volunteers who are aged 50 plus from within its patient base.

If you are registered with Leap Valley Surgery and want to add something to your community by becoming a volunteer, then please contact the reception at the surgery or John Griffiths of RSVP on 07720 458584.

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