A community hub is working with volunteers to support older people in Camden to recover from the effects of the pandemic.
Queen’s Crescent Community Association, in Gospel Oak, is offering exercise sessions, befriending, social events and an advice service to help older people recover their health, confidence and independence.
The service – Forever Young: Beyond Covid – is being supported by a £109,000 grant from City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charity funder.
The charity, which traces its roots back to the 1960s, is looking for volunteers to give up a few hours of their time to befriend an older person or help out at events such as lunch clubs.
City Bridge Trust Chairman Giles Shilson said: “Grassroots charities like Queen’s Crescent Community Association play a vital role in offering their communities support, advice and the social interaction that so many people have missed during the pandemic.
“This scheme provides opportunities and benefits not just for older people, but also for those who could spare a few hours a week or a month to get involved in their community and to make a difference.”
Four in ten Queen’s Crescent Community Association members said they felt more anxious, and almost half felt more isolated as a result of COVID.
As part of the scheme, the charity will also be producing a film, My Covid Year, giving older people the chance to talk about their experiences during the pandemic.
Queen’s Crescent Community Association Older People’s Services Manager, Mary Pierce, said: “A lot of older people are feeling less confident than they were, are less mobile and have health issues they didn’t have before the pandemic.
“This programme offers people friendship, a social connection and the reassurance of knowing there is someone they can talk to if they have an issue.
“We would really welcome more volunteers to work with older people. During COVID, people have rediscovered the joy that comes from connecting with their community and people who volunteer get a real sense of satisfaction and build lasting friendships.”