A popular befriending scheme for older people is set to launch at an East Yorkshire-based housing association thanks to a new partnership with Age UK.
Staff at Pickering and Ferens Homes are delighted at the charity’s decision to partner with them on the hosting of the new In Company sessions, which are aimed at helping people over 50 meet new people, build confidence and create friendships.
This Age UK service, which will be launched in Pickering and Ferens Homes’ Christopher Pickering Lodge sheltered scheme, on Hessle Road, in March, and comes hot on the heels of the association’s hugely successful Big Night Out-In initiative – aimed in particular at combating isolation in men by transforming its sheltered housing schemes into traditional pub scenes.
Kate-Marie Crowley, Service Plus Manager at Pickering and Ferens Homes, said: “It is fantastic news that Age UK has chosen us as a base for these important sessions. With an ageing population, it is critical that as a housing provider specialising in later life we invest more time and energy in supporting older people to lead fulfilling lives.
“Not only will the sessions be open to our residents, but the wider community too, which will bring more activity into Christopher Pickering Lodge and be a great tool for tackling the loneliness and social isolation that our Resident Profiling work revealed many residents experience.
“This project is fantastic as we hope it will create new friendships that will continue long after the group sessions themselves.”
Nationally, 49 per cent of those aged 75 and above live alone. Seventeen per cent of older people have less than weekly contact with family, friends and neighbours, while more than 1 in 10 have that contact less than once a month.
The current In Company sessions being run from Age UK Hull’s Healthy Living Centre are extremely popular and are currently oversubscribed.
Grace Bailey, Befriending Coordinator of Age UK, said: “It’s wonderful that we have been able to partner up with Pickering and Ferens Homes. By setting up a social group in Christopher Pickering Lodge we are hoping to reach out to people in the local community that we know we aren’t currently reaching.
“The people that attend the two groups we already run say that they look forward to the group each week as it feels like a family. This is what hope to develop in the community around Christopher Pickering Lodge.”
For more information about attending the new In Company Sessions at Christopher Pickering Lodge, please call 01482 223783