Pickering and Ferens homes is taking a mouth-watering approach to tackling loneliness and isolation among its residents by transforming its sheltered housing schemes into a traditional style pub scene each month for its newly launched “Pie & a Pint” nights, complete with pies, pool, darts and a pint of lager or two.
During the launch night, renowned pastry chef Matt Cunnah, owner of the immensely popular Hull Pie, will be demonstrated how residents could make his famous homemade pies in the comfort of their own homes, which they then tucked into at the event – ultimately encouraging residents to eat homemade meals even if they live alone.
Paula Kelly, resident services director, said that resident profiling work carried out by PFH recently identified high levels of isolation in male residents, as well as highlighting the fact that their participation in events is far lower in comparison to female residents.
PFH decided to develop an event that would appeal to men who perhaps can’t get out to the pub or other social venues as much as they once did, whilst also addressing the fact that some residents who live alone don’t feel inclined to cook homemade meals for themselves anymore.
“Despite this event being aimed at men, designed to bring the pub to them in the comfort of their own home, we also had an overwhelming response from female residents which is fantastic” explained Paula.
“People are especially vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation later in life and we know it can have a serious effect on health too. There are ways to overcome loneliness, even for residents who live alone and find it hard to get out.
“After talking to residents to gauge interest in our Pie & a Pint events, we gathered they were actually more interested in the pie making demonstration than the pints of beer, but there will also be a pool table, darts board and card games at the event.
“This event will be the first of many designed to target our male residents and we hope that in time it will mean they won’t need as much encouragement from us to come out of their homes and use the communal areas available to them.”
Last year, two fifths of all older people (about 3.9 million) said the television was their main company according to Age UK.
Len Middleton, who has been a PFH resident for 20 years, praised the initiative, which was held at the Humber View residence this month, and said it’s just what residents need to help them connect with others and give them a sense of purpose again.
He said: “Many of our male residents will have been used to getting out and about to socialise a lot more, but for many of them it’s not as easy to leave their homes as it used to be.
“It’s great to see Pickering and Ferens Homes putting on more events that appeal to men. A pie supper and a game of darts is right up our street, it certainly beats sitting at home watching the television with a meal for one.
“I am looking forward to attending the nights lined up over the coming months and it’s a great opportunity to find out the secret recipes behind Hull Pie too.”