Reconnecting is just what doctor ordered - The Evesham Observer

Reconnecting is just what doctor ordered

Evesham Editorial 20th Aug, 2018   0

A COUNTY campaign to reduce loneliness across the county has helped more than 1,600 people since it launched two years ago.

Around 35,000 people in Worcestershire suffer from loneliness or social isolation and the Reconnections scheme aims to match people with activities and groups through a network of volunteers.

Since 2016, more than 1,600 over-50s have benefitted from the service and during the past 12 months, 687 referrals have been made.

One of the people to connect with the Reconnections service recently was Doreen. Doreen moved to Worcestershire to be near her daughter, who sadly passed away.

Her declining mobility and lack of local friends and family left Doreen feeling lonely and depressed. After she was referred to the service by her local GP, Doreen was matched to Reconnections volunteer Linda who regularly visits and calls.

With Linda’s help, Doreen is now getting out more and growing in confidence. She has joined in with several trips and activities.

“I’ve come alive again. Now that I’m going out, I feel so happy that I’m looking to buy new clothes again. I haven’t seen my dentist for three years but I’m doing that as well,” Doreen said.

“Reconnections is the best thing my doctor has ever prescribed for me. I went for my 81st MOT and it’s the best thing my doctor could have given me. They are all marvellous.”

The Reconnections service is commissioned by Worcestershire County Council and is provided by Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire, together with local voluntary and community organisations.

Reconnections covers the whole of Worcestershire and aims to reduce older people’s feelings of loneliness by reconnecting them with interests, sharing skills and activities in their local communities.

Worcestershire’s ageing population and an increasing financial pressure on health and social care creates a need to better support older people in their own communities, to help them live more independent lives. By connecting people to those around them, they can stay happier and healthier for longer.

Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, Coun John Smith, said: “Loneliness and social isolation is a growing problem up and down the country.

“Since its launch in 2016, Reconnections has worked with more than 1,600 people who have made new friends and now lead happier lives. I’m proud Worcestershire is leading the way in this field and setting a good example for other areas of the country.”

Call 01905 740954 or visit for more.

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