Volunteer your precious time to help reduce loneliness

Volunteer week runs from 1 to 7 June and South Gloucestershire residents are encouraged to share some of their ‘Precious Time’ to help reduce loneliness in older people.

Precious Time is the South Gloucestershire campaign to reduce loneliness and isolation for our older residents. The campaign aims to make a difference to the lives of older people, so that nobody feels lonely or isolated against their wishes. South Gloucestershire residents are encouraged to volunteer to support and engage with older people who need company and any older people who feel isolated are encouraged to make contact so that they can get help and support, and take part in what’s available.

By becoming involved in this rewarding campaign volunteers can help older people get out and about, make new friends and find new hobbies or interests. There are a number of organisations involved in Precious Time offering flexible opportunities. Volunteers can simply visit lonely people for a chat and a cuppa or to accompany them for a walk, or they can use their skills and experience to host anything from sewing groups to computer lessons. There is no upper age limit for volunteers and previously several people who initially contacted the service for companionship have actually become volunteers themselves.

There is a lot going on in South Gloucestershire to support and involve older people. Precious Time is ideal for any older residents who need someone to chat with about things to do or places to visit and would like someone to accompany them.

Precious Time is also open to communities and community groups. Support will be given to any group that wishes to play a part in tackling isolation and loneliness among older people in their area. Everyone in South Gloucestershire can make a difference and more progress can be made by working together.

Cllr Matthew Riddle, Chair of South Gloucestershire Council’s Adults & Housing Committee, said: “Precious Time is really flexible and there’s something for everyone. Through volunteering, you can help older people get out and about, make new friends and feel that you’re helping strengthen your community.

He added: “If you, a friend, neighbour or anyone you come into contact with is lonely, please visit the Precious Time page on the council’s website or give us a call to find out how to get involved.”

For more information telephone 01454 862356 or visit www.southglos.gov.uk/precioustime.

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