Dear Friend,

Call companions Pat and Catherine's friendship is a perfect example of the difference that a weekly phone call can make to someone who is feeling lonely and isolated.  You can read about how they have been able to lift each other's spirits at a time in Pat's life when she has had no one else to talk to.

Our call companion coordinators play a key role in the Re-engage volunteer team, each one supporting a small group of call companions and older people from across the UK.  We  now need more coordinators to support our growing number of call companion groups.  If you can spare some time every week to help us reach more older people, please take a minute to read our news story below.  You'll find all you need to know about the role, including details of how to apply.

As a charity it is crucial that we reach out to often neglected minority groups of older people, including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and non cisgender (LGBT+).  To better understand their needs, we conducted online and face to face interviews. Our findings told us that there is a real need for activities and services to help alleviate the desperate loneliness that many face - you can read more about this below.

And finally, it was wonderful to see the Thurrock tea party group getting together to toast their sixth anniversary, as well as the 99th birthday of one of their guests.  Here's to many happy years of friendship and cake ahead!

I hope you enjoy the read.
'Could you be a call companion coordinator?'
We urgently need more volunteer call companion coordinators to act as the main point of contact between our volunteer call companions and the older people they support.  This is a challenging and rewarding role which might be a bit busy to begin with but will take up less of your time once your group is fully up and running.
Read more
'Understanding the needs of the older LGBT community'
In July we launched an exploratory research project to hear about the types of social activity groups and services LGBT+ people aged 70+ would like to take part in. Our findings will help us understand their needs and create tailored new services that support our mission to help end social isolation and loneliness in older people.
Read more
'Age is no barrier to friendship'

It's been 13 years since Pat lost her husband Mervyn, but she says she still misses him every day. They were married for 48 years and their wedding photo takes pride of place on her shelf. Tragically 83-year-old Pat lost her only child, Julia, 54, last year, which has made her loneliness even harder to bear. 

She was matched with volunteer call companion Catherine at the start of the year.  Age has been no barrier to their friendship and their weekly chats provide the opportunity to have a good laugh together to lift their spirits.  

Read more
'Over the moon to be back up and running'

A tea party group in Thurrock got together for their first tea party after 18 long months apart. There were celebrations all around as the group toasted their sixth anniversary, as well as the 99th birthday of one tea party guest. 

Group coordinator Lorraine said: "It was a wonderful afternoon of laughter and friendship. We owe a big thank you to our host and our fabulous volunteers for their love and care of all our tea party guests, as well as to TBC Sheltered Housing for allowing us to host our first tea party at nearby Headon Hall. 

I'm over the moon that we're back up and running as a group again and looking forward to many more tea party gatherings in the months ahead."

'A study of loneliness from the other side of the world'
Loneliness is an emotion we all feel, but it disproportionately affects older people.  A recent study in Australia shares what older people want us to know about how it feels to be lonely. The study had three key messages about their experiences.  
Read more
Stay safe and well.

With best wishes from the team at Re-engage

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