It is common and completely understandable to feel lonely as you get older. Family members might have moved out of the house or are far away. Perhaps friends or work colleagues have moved or drifted away. Even worse, maybe a loved one has passed away. Perhaps you've lost the confidence or motivation to do the things you used to enjoy doing or feel it is too late to go back or try something new. Most of us will feel lonely at some point in our lives. For many of us, particularly those in later life, loneliness can define our lives and significantly impact our well-being. However, at Age UK South Gloucestershire, we feel loneliness shouldn't be an accepted fact of later life. That is why we are launching our Reconnect Service funded by a St Monica Trust Community Impact grant.
Reconnect supports older people (50+) experiencing social isolation and loneliness to help them to connect with new friends in their community. The Reconnect Service will match you with another like-minded individual who has similar interests to you for social visits or outings. This could be for a regular cup of tea and a chat, or maybe you would like to attend an exercise class or club and would appreciate a friendly face to go with you.
Reconnect is a supportive and supported service, so all those involved go through an introduction programme and would be supported with the initial introduction to their potential new friend. We know that it can take some confidence to meet new people, so we hope these sessions will help you feel at ease, and it covers some vital topics like boundaries and safeguarding to make sure everyone feels comfortable and safe.
Our friendly team then checks in with you and your connection to offer information and support, and more importantly, to make sure all is going well. We also invite all of our participants to join us for Reconnection events, which will enable you to meet others who have connected through the service.
Due to the nature of the service, we can't guarantee a perfect connection, but we hope you will find a friend with whom you can socialise. If for any reason, however, it doesn't work out, we are always happy to add you back to the database and look for a new connection.
How do I access the Reconnect service?
Contact us on 01454 411707 and select option 2. You can also send us an email at email@example.com or download one of the referral forms below.
To refer a friend, family member or yourself to the Reconnect Service, send the below form to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to refer someone and are from an agency, please complete and send the below form to email@example.com