A Liverpool charity is bringing younger and older people together on Zoom in a bid to tackle loneliness.
Liverpool Cares opened in 2018, their aim is to combat loneliness throughout Liverpool’s community.
Alice Taylor, Love Your Neighbour Program Coordinator at Liverpool Cares, said: “The core message of the Cares family is to tackle loneliness in our cities by bringing together two lonely and vulnerable groups of people. They are over 65s and young professionals, such as students moving to new cities.”
Pre-pandemic times, Alice set up meetings between older neighbours and younger volunteers within Liverpool. Then she sets up ‘friendship matches’ between the two groups of people, so they can have a cup of tea or play games together.
“During the pandemic we have shown the older neighbours how to use Zoom, we offer online activities such as, quizzes, film clubs, dance classes and sing-a-longs,” Alice explained.
Alice also said: “The new ‘Phone a Friend Program’ is a phone call once or twice a week with your neighbour. The feedback they have had from volunteers and neighbours has been extremely positive, “it has lowered feelings of isolation”.
Gill Edwards, an elderly woman who has taken part in the Phone a Friend Program over the lockdown period, said: “I love the Liverpool Cares team, as I was shielding for a number of months I found lockdown quite hard. I was friendship matched with a young girl who moved to the city for University. We have weekly phone calls and I take part in all the quizzes and sing-a-longs on offer!”
The Cares Family began in 2011, starting with London. Then in 2017 Manchester Cares opened.
Loneliness has been shown to be as bad for people’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, says Liverpool Cares website.
Liverpool Cares have an upcoming charity event, to raise money for The Cares Team. They will be completing an abseil down the side of Liverpool Cathedral in the summer.
Anyone can volunteer, the team consist of all ages from all backgrounds. To find out more go to their website.
Katie Morgan, Quays News