Concerned about the impact of the second lockdown on the older communities across East and West Lindsey and North Lincolnshire, the charity wants people to know that its Information and Advice, Befriending, and Keep Connected Services are all remaining open.
These, said Chief Executive Officer Andy Storer, were providing a lifeline for many at a time when isolation was proving a real issue for some. And, whilst he confirmed that the charity’s retail outlets would have to close for the month, he was extremely pleased to be able to run these ‘essential services’ for older people.
Measures taken by Age UK Lindsey to restructure its services in the wake of the first lockdown had ensured the charity was on a more solid footing and able to keep these services running, he said.
“I am sure that many older people’s hearts would have sunk after confirmation that a second national lockdown was starting. As many as one in three older people were already struggling with anxiety and depression, plus loneliness brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and first lockdown and now that they face a further challenge. It is vital we are available to offer support,” explained Andy.
All conducted by phone, the services offer help and advice to hundreds of people. With support from the Lincolnshire Community Foundation, the charity was able to launch a telephone wellbeing service during the first lockdown – in just its first round of calls, 150 vulnerable people were identified as having ‘fallen between the cracks’ and were receiving little, or no, ‘lockdown’ support. Andy expected the situation to be similar during this period of uncertainty.
Stressing the importance of Age UK Lindsey’s support helplines, Andy cited a case taken up by Befriender Guy Hall. Working on a ‘Keep Connected’ phone line, Guy had contacted a North Lincolnshire woman earlier this year whose husband of 38 years had died after contracting coronavirus.
“Guy tells of how the phone contact with him made all the difference. She found it easier to speak to someone who was more independent, and he encouraged her to get professional bereavement counselling. She was extremely grateful for the support she had received. This is just one example of the difference our services can make,” said Andy.
For more information go to www.ageuk.org.uk/lindsey or phone 01507 524242.