Link Age Southwark is a vibrant local volunteer charity that has been supporting older people in the London Borough of Southwark for 27 years. Our support to older people includes volunteer befriending, group activities and practical help around the home and garden. These services reduce isolation and loneliness, improve older people's quality of life - their physical and mental health - and enable older people to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible.
The vision for this project is to adapt and expand our gardening service in an extra special way to show that we care about our older friends. Imagine how simply gifting a small bunch of flowers to an older person could make them feel appreciated or delivering a plant for their garden could show them that they are valued.
Help us add colour and charm to the lives of older people
Around this time is when our gardening service for older people springs into action and our team of volunteer gardeners carry out light gardening and general maintenance.
As a result of the lockdown most older people have been unable to do any kind of shopping, including buying plants and flowers to spruce up their gardens. This year our aim is to adapt our service for those who are shielding, self-isolating or worried about going out, and bring a bit of colour back into their lives by delivering bedding plants to them. Our volunteer gardeners will deliver these and can help with planting to ensure our older friends’ gardens aren’t left untended.
Bringing the outside in
We would like to expand our gardening service this year and share the joy of nature with those who do not have gardens.
In response to the pandemic, we set up a shopping service for those who are unable to get out and have nobody else to shop for them. We will ask our volunteer shoppers to add a bright bunch of flowers or a houseplant to their shop.
Our biggest service provision is our volunteer befriending which usually sees volunteers visiting their older friends at home. This has moved to telephone befriending and the pandemic prompted a 30% increase in demand for this service. We will let our volunteer telephone befrienders know that they can surprise their older friend with a bunch of flowers or a houseplant to deliver to their doorsteps.
Why we need your support
We have had to cancel our planned community fundraising events which raise vital funds to facilitate our services. Your support will enable us to make up this shortfall in order to sustain our service provision at a time when it has never been more important.
The money raised will contribute to the purchase of plants and flowers as well as staffing costs and volunteer expenses. Crucially the funding will allow us to show our older friends that the local community hasn't forgotten them. These small acts of kindness can have huge significance for those who are feeling increasingly removed from and anxious about the world around them.
A small contribution from you will help deliver smiles to our community of vulnerable older people who deserve to feel valued.