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Category: Befriending

As Coronavirus (COVID-19) once again spreads across the UK, it has become increasingly harder for people to maintain their social connections.

Many of us will miss seeing family and friends and taking part in our usual hobbies, interests and activities, which highlights just how important friendship and connection are in all of our lives.

Research shows that half a million older people regularly experience protracted periods of isolation, going at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all.

During the Coronavirus outbreak it’s especially important we can stay in touch with people of all ages who are alone.

For many of us this period of restrictions will be a difficult time. If we make the effort to stay connected, we can make a big difference to people who are feeling alone at this time.

In lockdown, Jami’s Befriending Programme has benefitted from an exciting relaunch through the use of Compeer (an international network that matches screened and trained volunteers with people with mental illness) and the hire of a new Compeer Volunteering Manager. The importance of these relationships should not be underestimatedRead their latest blog to learn more about the impact of isolation.

Not all of Jami’s service users, either those attending our Hubs or in the wider community, are able/want to attend the new online programmes. From the outset of this crisis, Jami’s staff have made sure that they are touching base regularly with everyone who normally attends the hubs through an extended telephone/1-1 online service. Between March – August, 1954 hours of telephone support and 397 hours of 1:1 video conferencing were provided. Jami staff have a very clear gauge on what is happening with all members on their database through regular conversations with clients, so if any changes to circumstances are required, they are able to implement that as seamlessly and as quickly as possible.

For some, their befriending partner represents their only link with the outside world. With help from a befriender, Jami’s service users can gain confidence, improve their self-esteem and become part of the wider community again.

“It makes me feel that someone is there for me, that someone will know if anything is wrong with me, makes me feel loved and cared about.” – testimonial from one of Jami’s service users

This Mitzvah Day, please take the time to pick up the phone to those that you know are experiencing loneliness and isolation.

#EveryMitzvahMatters

To find out more about Jami’s services and volunteer programmes please visit https://jamiuk.org/