Isolation and loneliness: You are not alone
In the lead-up to Christmas, 250 of our residents kindly shared with us their experiences of isolation and loneliness.
While the vast majority of residents have not experienced loneliness/isolation, one in eight of our residents have these feelings on a daily or weekly basis (since the pandemic).
Many of our residents shared practical tips and advice to manage isolation and loneliness during this time. Below you can hear from a few of them, and learn more about ways of coping by reading our full report or the one-page summary.
Keep connected and engaged
- Find out more from Edna House resident Robin, who recommends engaging with nature in the world around you
- Ada Court resident Salim learnt to cook during Covid-19: watch his video here
- Myriam, another Edna House resident, discovered online ballet classes which she now takes part in weekly
- Read and listen to music or a podcast sometimes instead of watching television
- Get online if you can – and join one of C&C’s regular online classes
- Take regular exercise everyday (if able).
How C&C is helping residents
- We’re helping vulnerable residents with food shopping/collecting medical supplies
- We’re regularly conducting check-ins / calls with those who are most vulnerable
- We’re running a regular online programme of fitness, arts and music
- We’re also running outdoor activities when weather and restrictions allow
- We’re running regular virtual residents’ assemblies
- We’re sending out a monthly activity e-newsletter to residents (email us email@example.com to subscribe)
- We’ve donated over 130 tablets to help residents stay connected
- We’re working with local authorities and charitable organisations to provide further support.
More can be done – can you help?
We are urgently seeking additional support and funding from other organisations and funding partners, to further aid our most vulnerable residents overcome feelings of loneliness and isolation.
In particular, we are seeking support to better realise both C&C’s and the Government’s aim for Digital Inclusion.
Here are some of the ways organisations and funders could support us:
- Talk with us about funding a trial of our virtual housing service proposal which could help us to support more people for a reasonable cost
- Donate tablets to help our residents get online
- Help residents to access free digital skills training programmes
- Assist us to develop and grow our existing free online arts, fitness and healthy living classes
- Provide group telephone or online chat support
- Provide voluntary personal contact with residents on an ongoing basis.
We are open to any other practical suggestions to help our most vulnerable residents.
Please get in touch with us to discuss ways to get involved with our mission to beat social isolation and loneliness and help us to provide new and additional services: firstname.lastname@example.org
The risks to our physical and mental health increase during winter, and we’re doing everything we can to support you – in and out of your home.
Read our advice and guidance on how to stay safe, warm and connected.
Top tips for fire safety in resident homes:
- Don’t overload plug points – this is the most common way to start a fire. Any appliance that generates heat should have its own plug socket.
- Keep corridors and escape routes clear. It is essential that any escape route is kept clear to aid any evacuation.
- Keep portable heaters away from furniture and do not use to dry clothes.
- Keep internal doors closed when you go to bed at night.
- Do not leave food cooking unattended anywhere– in the oven, grill or stove top.
We continue to advise residents to stay at home as much as possible. This is not only to protect you during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic but also to help you stay warm.
Top tips for residents to keep warm:
- Heat your home to at least 18C. Please let us know if you experience any problems with hot water or heating.
- Keep your bedroom window closed, especially at night.
- Use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed – but do not use both at the same time (and ensure the blanket is unplugged before you go to sleep).
- Have at least one hot meal a day – eating regularly helps keep you warm – and hot drinks regularly.
- Stock up on tinned and frozen foods, so that you don’t have to go out too much when it’s cold or icy. If you do go out, wrap up warm and wear sensible shoes.
We have been gathering a large number of new handmade blankets which our service officers will be distributing. Please speak to your local officer if you would like one (please note we may not be able to meet all requests).
Top practical steps to keep residents fit and in touch this winter:
- Get active - Do some light exercise, join in our online classes, or check out these basic at home exercises.
- Get involved - Take steps to become more engaged in your local community by visiting an event or social gathering that is taking place (where possible); sign up to the volunteer programme; or start your own club at your local scheme.
- Keep talking - Talking to people is one of the best ways to feel good and avoid loneliness. Try to see people regularly, or if you can't get out but would like some company, try using the internet to keep in touch with people wherever they are.
- Eat well - A healthy and balanced diet will help you feel your best. It’s important to stay hydrated too, hot drinks in the cold weather is a great way to help staying warm.
Service staff and Service Hub
Service Hub update
At a few of our housing schemes, there may be a reduction of service staff on site at times. This may be because staff may need to self-isolate if displaying symptoms of Covid-19. Calls into our Service Hub may also increase, so you may experience longer than usual waiting times.
Service Hub phone number – 0207 522 9300
Repairs and property compliance
With the country back under lockdown measures, we will be conducting emergency/urgent repairs only. Please note that once we move out of lockdown, we will have a backlog of routine repairs to undertake, and so these may take longer than usual to complete. We encourage you to use the form on our website if you would like to report a repair.
To report an emergency/urgent repair please call:
0800 121 8742 (Monday-Friday between 9am and 5pm)
0800 533 5719 (all other times)
Age UK provide advice lines, befriending services and a variety of online information for older people, call for free on 0800 055 6112.
The British Red Cross has a dedicated Coronavirus supportline, open 10am-6pm every day. They give people without a support network someone to talk to, and can help them access food, medicine and emotional support: 0808 196 3651.
Independent Age have lots of free advice guides available via their website, including one with suggestions on how to help reduce loneliness and where to get more help: 0800 856 6766 to order your free guide.
The NHS offers a ‘Your Mind Plan’ quiz to find out about how you are coping with mental health during Covid-19.
If you were born on or before 5 October 1954 you could be entitled to between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills. Check out the Government’s Winter Fuel Payment page for more information.
C&C is working in partnership with the Golden Years project, offering a friendly phone calls service for over 60s in the Camden area. The volunteers making the calls are a retired teacher and an ex-Trustee of the St Pancras Community Association.
If you live in Camden and would appreciate a call, or if you’d be interested in being a volunteer, call Jane on 020 7380 1501 or email email@example.com
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is running a ‘Let’s talk loneliness’ campaign, offering advice, stories from others and a calendar of events you can take part in to keep connected this Winter.