Standing Together to beat loneliness

Written by
6th February, 2019

groups of residents join together to beat loneliness We have teamed up with three local housing associations and the Mental Health Foundation to reduce loneliness and isolation amongst our older residents. Statistics show loneliness is as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Thanks to a Big Lottery Wales grant of over £350,000 with Derwen Cymru, Newport City Homes and United Welsh we will be delivering the Standing Together project helping to boost emotional health and community connections for older people.

The project’s first visit was to Melin’s extra care scheme Ty Cae Nant in Cwmbran on February 5th where a group of residents got together with two friendly facilitators who ran a ‘getting to know you session’ looking into the meaning of everyone’s names. At the end of the session they all learnt a lot more about each other as the exercise really helped to get the conversation going. The group chat travelled from Mykonos to Merthyr and shared memories of all sorts from scrubbing hearths to shared outside toilets and darning socks.

Standing Together is set to create 30 facilitated peer support groups to improve the wellbeing of 450 residents over the age of 55 in retirement housing across south east Wales. Thanks to the Big Lottery Wales funding we have recruited a staff team of four to train and support 60 volunteers who will enable the groups to continue and be run by residents themselves once the three-year project ends.
Residents at Ty Cae Nant really enjoyed their first group meeting and are looking forward to their next session.
Independent Living Co-Ordinator Paula Williams said: “It was great to see how quickly people got talking and there was not one person who didn’t get involved. The group provided a fantastic opportunity to build relationships between staff and residents and also for residents to lead the conversation and activities.”

Partners, Residents

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