Since 1999, Ageing Well in Lewisham has worked to increase the quality of life of vulnerable older people in Lewisham, especially those who are isolated due to physical or cognitive challenges.
Our programmes reduce social isolation and increase the mental and physical well-being of our service users through activities that encourage social interaction, physical mobility, and creativity.
We are crowdfunding toward an initial £1200 goal so that we can continue to support our members over the next few months of lockdown despite not receiving the usual fees from our groups.
We have been keeping in touch with our members through regular phone calls and email. We have arranged food deliveries, signposted members to needed services, and mailed out activities care packages. In one case, identical crossword books were sent to two friends so that they could continue their habit of working on them together — over the phone for now. For another member, we dropped off some plants to freshen up her garden.
The majority of our members are not online and require one-to-one contact; however, our singing group, The Befrienders, has embraced new technology and moved to weekly Zoom meetups, facilitated by the hard work and encouragement of the session leaders.
One of the members wrote a beautiful song called “Would You Like to Go for a Walk, Covid-19” which is being set to original music.
Even without the regular income of our group fees, we are still paying our session leaders who are helping to phone and reach out to our members. Our two part-time employees are working remotely on slightly reduced hours, and other core costs have not changed.
Your donation would allow us to continue to keep our members connected and healthy until it is safe for the groups to meet in person again. Loneliness, especially in older people, can have a very serious impact on overall health, including increased mortality rates, cognitive decline, disability, depression and loss of confidence.
Older people in Lewisham may have to be in physical isolation for quite some time, but they can still remain connected! Reaching our crowdfunding goal would mean that we could work to expand our reach as well as to maintain our groups' cohesion for when we meet again. Having community connections in place when quarantine lifts will be vital for the well-being Lewisham's elderly community.