For nine years, The Cares Family has brought older and younger people together to reduce loneliness and create inter-generational solidarity. In regular times, this work is face-to-face. With older people most at risk of the awful effects of both COVID-19 and social isolation, and younger people increasingly feeling lonely too, The Cares Family has re-invented its programmes during the pandemic to help people stay connected in a disconnecting time. They run 20 Virtual Social Clubs a week bringing older and younger friends together for dances, discussion groups, yoga, arts sessions, history nights and more – and people who aren’t online are able to dial in to take part. They launched Phone A Friend which is helping hundreds of older and younger people to offer a little solace amid the solitude, as well as a new #AloneTogether project, which is helping older and younger neighbours to connect by post, and to share games, jokes, quizzes, recipes, arts projects and more. The Cares Family is also making sure older people who live alone and can’t get out of the house are able to get food and medical supplies through its outreach project.
Support from the Scheinberg Relief Fund has enabled The Cares Family to create and deliver 4,000 activity packs each month, to help keep its members stimulated during lockdown, as well as providing funding to support the delivery of their online social clubs and telephone support services.