Supporting those feeling lonely or isolated

19 June 2020

Changing Lives Together’s buddying and befriending calls are making a big difference to vulnerable people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

West Cheshire has shown true community spirit in the response to COVID-19. After Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) set up a form for people to register their interest in volunteering, around 2,100 residents across the borough have pledged their support so far.

While many people have volunteered at charities and community initiatives like Changing Lives Together, which provides good-quality furniture for people on low incomes and employment, training and development opportunities for local people, others have been good neighbours and looked out for vulnerable people in their local area.

A band of volunteers at Changing Lives Together make a friendly call to vulnerable people once or twice a week, as well as offering to support with things like shopping for those who need it.

After establishing the scheme over the past 18 months or so, it will now be running until 30 November 2020, meaning vulnerable people can still access the service as the borough continues to respond to COVID-19.

One vulnerable person who takes part in calls said: “I’m feeling really lonely and cut off from everything at the moment as all my usual clubs and activities have stopped. 

“Getting a phone call from someone in the outside world makes things so much better.”

If someone who is feeling lonely or isolated needs support, they can call: 07919 327131 or email: befriending@changing-lives-together.org.uk.
One of the volunteers said: “Myself and the person I call are exchanging answers on our weekly and monthly puzzle magazines. We enjoy our chats and have a good chuckle on the phone.”

If you are interested in volunteering as part of the scheme, you can call: 07919 327131 or email: volunteer@changing-lives-together.org.uk. All you’ll to do is give an hour or two of your time each week, or fortnight, to suit you.

The Council and CWVA are still working together to match volunteers to different charities and community initiatives whenever they’re needed.
Please note: photo taken before UK lockdown.

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