Who’s that calling?

Today we hear from Theresa, one of our volunteer who normally runs Movie Night, Craft groups and helps out in the office, who this week has been making calls as part of our member’s wellbeing check.

“We’ve been calling you all to check how you’re doing, to make sure you have enough food and supplies, have support in place, and to tell you about our upcoming online and phone sessions.

We are doing our best to contact you all, but with hundreds of members, it is taking a while so if you have not had a call yet don’t worry we will call you in the next few days. I have a long list and am about 75% of the way through. As you can imagine I am drinking a lot, squash and coffee (NOT gin and tonic, unfortunately), and sucking many sweets to keep my voice going.

I have had the privilege of speaking with some really lovely people this week. I have been hearing about the different things you have been doing to keep busy, lots of gardening, watching TV and exercising at home. I have been very impressed by those of you who are exercising. I have turned into a couch, or rather dining room chair potato as I have been on my laptop and phone this week. I will exercise next week – I will!

I have also been hearing about the challenges you are facing. A shortage of toilet rolls has been a common challenge. I am sorry I do not have any thoughts but remember several supermarkets have special shopping slots just for older and vulnerable people: M&S is between 8.30 am and 9.30 am on weekdays Sainsbury’s from between 8 am and 9 am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday Tesco (not Express) are opening from 9 am to 10 am Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

I know one or two of you have struggled to go out for food and supplies and I am very proud that our team have been able to support you.

Well done team – you are stars.


Lifelines has a new fundraising page

During this time of uncertainty and change we need your help more than ever so that we can provide a lifeline of friendship and support for lonely and isolated older people in our community.

Before the virus outbreak, we had older people and volunteers meeting regularly for a wide range of fun and engaging activities. Now we’ve had to suspend all face-to-face activity for the time being. But stopping contact for the 70 volunteers and over 300 beneficiaries is not an option.

Our volunteers and staff have had to think quickly and creatively to ensure that everyone can still enjoy precious social time and stay connected.

  • Sue, aged 70, is starting to run the first online quiz for older people unable to leave the house.
  • Kate will be using conference calling platforms to run reminiscence groups,offering those in social isolation a chance to chat with others about old times.

We are lining up lots of more activities which will include creative writing, book reading over the phone and regular coffee mornings for a natter. We are also working with others to create podcasts and resources to keep everyone connected.

We need you to please donate now to help volunteers like Sue and Kate. Your generosity will provide a lifeline of friendship and support for isolated and lonely older members of the Brighton community at this time of crisis.

  • £5.00 will contribute to the cost of telephone calls that will help to bring friends together.
  • £20.00 will help us to run new activities that will give people focus and improve their outlook and well being.
  • £50.00 will help us to recruit, train and support volunteers to help provide more activities and support.www.justgiving.com/campaign/LifeLines

Every donation we receive will make a huge difference to an older person’s life.

Public Statement

As of last week, following government guidelines, Brighton Lifelines has now suspended all of our 40+ regular groups providing face to face activities to older people, across Brighton and Hove. As you may know most of those activities support older people with wellbeing activities and interest groups delivered by volunteers.

We are currently telephoning all members and volunteers across our network to ensure everyone has basic needs met and as our volunteers are trained and experienced, many will now be supported with befriending calls and some with necessary shopping.

We are trialling new interesting ways of delivering our current activities to support people over the phone and online. We will share all offers as we go for other community groups to tap into, but please don’t hesitate to get in touch on either lifelines@volunteeringmatters.org.uk or 01273 688 117.

Likewise we will reach out to get support from our partners across the city. A very big thanks to all the organisations who are supporting our communities at this time, it’s heart warming.

The Lifelines Team