Southend United Community & Educational Trust (SUCET) is proud to be part of a major new nationwide programme to tackle loneliness among older people, known as Tackling Loneliness Together.
The EFL Trust has received £810,000 from the Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) to support EFL Club Community Organisations in 32 deprived locations across England – including Southend-on-Sea and its surrounding areas – with the aim of connecting more older people at risk of loneliness.
A recent study from the Office National Statistics (ONS) showed that 2.6 million adults reported that they felt lonely ”often” or ”always” whilst 7.4 million adults reported their well-being had been affected through them having felt lonely in the past seven days.
Since lockdown, staff from the SUCET team have been in regular contact with members of the charity’s Senior Shrimpers and Walking Football programmes, checking in via phone calls and Facebook messaging as well as sending letters in the post to provide reassurance and offer extra support during such a challenging time.
There are plans to work alongside Southend United to develop a ‘buddy system’, enabling more older people to attend matches in a supported fashion, as well as arrange socially distanced cafe meetups at Roots Hall whereby people can get together face-to-face and have a chat to help reduce social isolation.
Mike Evans, Chief Executive Officer of the EFL Trust, commented:
“We are proud to have been chosen to be part of this vital mission to support the older people in our communities.
“We see this as an endorsement of the great work that our CCOs have done in this area and we know there is so much more that our network will achieve. Our Health and Wellbeing team are working hard to match the expertise of our network to the communities where it is most desperately needed and we continue to work with DCMS, NHS, Public Health England and other agencies to ensure we can all build back better after COVID-19.”
If you, a friend, family member or neighbour would like to benefit from this new programme, please contact April Smith on [email protected] or give us a call on 01702 341351.
You can also join our Tackling Loneliness Together Facebook group by clicking here.