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Livability joins ‘Christians Together Against Loneliness’ to tackle isolation amongst older people

Livability has become part of a new faith based coalition called ‘Christians Together Against Loneliness’ to tackle isolation amongst older people. The partner organisations backing the resource include: Livability, The Salvation Army, Linking Lives UK, Pilgrims Friend, Torches Trust, Parish Nursing Ministries UK, Care Home Friends and The Gift of Years.

Why Make a meal of it? Launching a new community meal resource

Together, the partners have launched a new resource called ‘Make a Meal of It’ to help churches run meals that create community connections. In recent years, community meals have grown in popularity. Events such as ‘The Big Lunch’ or ‘The Great Get Together’ have provided new opportunities to make contact with people- offering opportunities for new contacts and friendships.

This new resource – ‘Make A Meal of It‘ – will have a particular focus on mobilising churches to connect with older people on the margins. The pack contains advice for every stage of the process- ideas on how to plan the meal, who to involve, how to connect, creative ideas on the day, and ideas for follow up.

How does isolation impact older people?

  • With over 50% of those aged 75 living alone, older people are at greater risk of isolation.
  • 41% of people aged 65 and over in the UK feel out of touch with the pace of modern life and 12% say they feel cut off from society.

Working for ongoing relationship – and not just one off contact

‘Make a Meal of It’ offers a fresh take on the community meal by challenging churches to plan to build relationships on an ongoing basis and avoid offering just a ‘one-off’ event. For many elderly people, who are battling with isolation, creating connections takes time, trust and confidence. ‘Make A Meal Of It’ is focused on a longer term view in befriending and providing support. The resource helps groups think about developing the voice and involvement of those who are coming. Churches are encouraged to think how a meal could involve a broad range of people from the community at a day where everyone gets to take part.

Corin Pilling, Deputy Director Public Engagement at Livability says: ‘A community works best when it’s made up of people from many different backgrounds. We’re keen for a wide range of people to come along to a meal where they can celebrate life together, old and young. It’s important that no-one feels ‘labelled as lonely’ but instead knows they are being invited to be part of something that is good for everybody.’

Get your free copy of Make a Meal of It here

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