Age UK Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and SAND (Safe Ageing No Discrimination) are working in partnership with Age UK Herefordshire & Worcestershire to reach older LGBT+ people.
They have launched a volunteer led pilot project called Reach which involves volunteers making a regular telephone call to members of the older LGBT+ community.
Prior to the onset of Covid 19, the LGBT+ community were not always visible and as a result, their support needs were neither understood nor adequately met. Throughout Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, more people live remotely and, as such their interaction with others can be extremely limited.
As communities age, many LGBT+ people find themselves living alone. There are a number of reasons why this may occur including the loss of a partner, having had no children, no contact with family members and a depleted social network. Of course, these issues are not exclusively experienced by members of the LGBT+ community, however, there are additional layers that significantly impact upon whether a person feels able or prepared to reach for help. This pilot project is aiming to reduce the feeling of loneliness and isolation amongst the LGBT+ community.
Kevin Moore, Director of Operations for Age UK Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin said: “We are really excited to be working in partnership with Age UK Hereford & Worcester and SAND to extend our reach into more isolated communities to help reduce loneliness.”
Sal Hampson, Director of SAND said: “SAND is very excited to be part of REACH – a fantastic illustration of how local organisations can work together to ensure that services are inclusive of older and old LGBT+ people.
“We are now looking for volunteers that would be interested in supporting the Reach project. All volunteering can be done from home and volunteers will receive suitable training from both their local Age UK and SAND.”
If you would like to know more about the project and find out how you can volunteer contact Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01743 233123. You can also visit www.ageukstw.org.uk for more information.