Bucks boost for lonely older people

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A leading charity is warning that a long-term effect of Covid is leaving many older people in Buckinghamshire in social isolation.

Levels of loneliness in the county during the pandemic were higher than the national average while there has also been a drop in the number of older people using Buckinghamshire leisure centres.

Now Re-engage, is urging those aged 75 and over who may be experiencing loneliness or isolation to get in touch. The charity runs various social activities including free monthly tea parties and ‘call companions’ - a telephone befriending service.

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Sally Flowers, head of service delivery at Re-engage, said: “We know from hard experience that Covid seriously dented the confidence of many older people who remain reluctant to go out. But we also know that socialising helps build mental strength and, of course, can lead to new friendships.

Older people enjoying a Re-engage tea partyOlder people enjoying a Re-engage tea party
Older people enjoying a Re-engage tea party

“We would like to help older people in Buckinghamshire who may have become isolated by offering a lifeline to the outside world where they can once again enjoy the companionship of their peers and no longer feel alone.”

According to the Office for National Statistics the number of people aged 65 plus in the county increased by 23 per cent between 2011 and 2021. Levels of loneliness during Covid amongst adults rose by 24 per cent, compared to 19 per cent nationally.

Re-engage started its free tea parties in 1965 and now supports around 8000 older people a year through its army of 9000 volunteers who are based all around the country.

If you would like to join a tea party or get a call companion visit the website; reengage.org.uk/ or call; 0800 716543.