Earlier in the year, the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness was launched at the Houses of Parliament. Issues around loneliness are now appearing in the media on an almost weekly basis, such is the concern by government, charities and wider society.
Linking Lives UK is working hard to address these issues by supporting churches to set up befriending schemes in their local communities. These schemes enable volunteers to visit those affected by loneliness in their own homes, normally once a week for around one hour. These visits can be a real lifeline and are an opportunity to provide good quality time for someone else which is often mutually beneficial.
Many volunteers find that they discover a huge amount of interesting information about life in previous generations, and the time together is one which both parties look forward to every week. Where physically possible, volunteers are also encouraged to go out with their friend to visit local places of interest.
We are now working with 20 churches and Christian charities nationally and would be happy to talk to representatives of any Church of Scotland congregations. We are one of the Cinnamon Network ‘recognised projects’ and there are currently grants of £2,000 available through them for churches setting up projects in Scotland.
To find out more about our work, please visit our website at www.linkinglives.uk or phone 0300 302 0225.
‘A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families’ Ps 68: 5-6