ONE of Sheffield’s leading older people’s charities has restarted loneliness busting face-to-face visits after coronavirus forced their suspension.
Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care (SCCCC) says a 66 strong army of volunteers are back chatting in-person to isolated older people, many of whom count television as their only friend.
Precautions like face coverings, enhanced hygiene and social distancing remain in place, but charity bosses say the long-awaited return of physical get-togethers represents a major milestone in their pandemic recovery.
SCCCC Good Neighbour Scheme team leader Tammy Wilson said:
“Since May, we have been carefully reinstating face-to-face visits with service users and volunteers who feel happy to do so.
“Many of our volunteers have provided weekly telephone chats, and some will continue with these even after our core services resume. But for those who feel comfortable delivering and receiving them, face-to-face visits will resume with precautions in place.
“We’ve all been through some tough times, but we never gave up hope that we could get one of our flagship services back up and running, so this represents a really important milestone for the charity.
“We’ve currently got a backlog of staff visits to people who were referred to us during the pandemic. Where appropriate, we will be matching these people with volunteers under our Good Neighbour Scheme- so we’re always open to more people giving up their time and to lend their support.”
SCCCC’s Good Neighbour Scheme aims to help the older members of the community by enhancing their quality of life. The service is provided free of charge with the basic aim of helping to combat loneliness for people over 65 living in Sheffield.
SCCCC is currently recruiting new volunteers to be paired up with older people for support. A full induction and DBS checks will be carried out to ensure all volunteers are suitable to support older service users.
To find out more or to volunteer, please email: email@example.com or phone 0114 2505292.