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Could you be a PAL with Age UK Bolton?

Published on 21 September 2021 11:18 AM

Age UK Bolton are looking for PALs as part of a new project initially starting in Farnworth and Kearsley. PALs (Promoting Active Lives) is a project aimed at helping older people, who are nervous about re-entering society after the COVID-19 lockdowns, back into their localities, encouraging them to socialise again.

As we emerge from the pandemic, it has become increasingly clear from talking to clients,

 volunteers, befrienders, staff and carers, that many of our older people have become extremely anxious and fearful of starting to return to their pre-pandemic lives.

Some older people feel they haven’t the confidence to start, particularly navigating through the COVID protocols, while others are wary of visiting places where they previously enjoyed spending time taking part in social and physical activities, and have told us they don’t know if they will ever get back to where they were before the pandemic.

With the support of the GMCVO and Ambition for Ageing, Age UK Bolton has launched this new initiative to try to combat this by sourcing volunteer PALs to help older people take the necessary steps back into their locality, through supported home and garden visits, short outings and visits to places of interest and maybe supporting an older person to attend local classes and social events.

Ageing Well Manager Lesley Simm said, “PALs offers us the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a massive difference to our older people, to help them regain the lives they thought they had left behind due to the pandemic. Just like when we had the emergency support of volunteers across the country during the pandemic, we now need more volunteers to help us with the aftermath of COVID. Within Farnworth & Kearsley we have always had a high demand for befrienders, and this is a time-limited opportunity that we hope will appeal to people with some free time, who want to make a real difference to an older person’s life. There is something very satisfying knowing you have personally helped someone who is currently housebound and isolated to regain their confidence, reconnect with friends and get back into society. For the older person, this will be positively life-changing.”

If you, or someone you know,  would like to help us make a difference to an older person as a PAL, for an informal chat about the project, please ask for Lesley or Leanne at AGE UK Bolton on 01204 382411 / 01204 701525 or you can email  We really appreciate your support!