Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. This year's theme was loneliness and the horrible implications that it could have for someone experiencing mental health issues. Through our social channels, we showed the ways in which, since the day we began we have worked tirelessly to combat loneliness.
When we launched in March 2020 we made a pledge to combat the loneliness the pandemic caused in our community. We wanted to ensure that no-one felt alone. Loneliness can be a cause of and symptom of poor mental health that is why we are committed to:
Every month our volunteers made an amazing 170 calls to people in the community who would otherwise be alone. Initially started in the height of lockdown when older generations were totally cut off from their support links and friendship groups. Left behind with the lack of technological knowledge and unable to video call their loved ones. Our volunteers would arrange to call throughout the week at arranged times to check in, see if they needed anything, and just for general chit-chat.
Our volunteers have committed to making on average 8,840 calls a year. A simple way to volunteer that can be done from the comfort of your home at a time to suit you. We're always looking for more kindness callers so let us know if this is something you would like to like to be a part of. You really could make someone's week within something as easy as a hello, how are you?
Providing spaces for communication
You may have heard about this lovely little coffee shop (we're biased) that opened this year at 60 Tredegar Street in Risca. We Connect Coffee Shop and Pantry was always designed to a be to allow people to connect with each other or our free wi-fi. It's also a place that offers support to those in need. Whether you need to join our pantry to help take the pressure off their food bill, have a judgment-free chat about debt support, or even help find work with our partner communities at work plus.
Our hub at Channel View Community centre has always been a place that has welcomed those needing our support to come in for a chat. We've also used this as a base for our coffee mornings and activity mornings and the occasional chair yoga session too.
Our Group Support
The transition into parenting can be an incredibly lonely and isolating time. Being home all day with a newborn or young child can be an incredible strain on your mental health. To help support new parents and parents of toddlers we run two clubs:
Best Feeding - running every Monday morning is a safe place for parents of young children to come along and meet other parents in the area. We'll also be providing support with breast feeding and bottle feeding. Supporting parents with the feeding methods that work best for their family.
Toddler Time - running every Wednesday morning come and enjoy half a conversation with other parents as your little toddler terrors run riot.
Want to take part? Book here: http://ow.ly/X7gZ50J1Tzs
Our Coffee Mornings
Such a simple idea isn't going. Going out for coffee with your friends. We introduced coffee mornings twice a week for our VIPs so they always knew there was a social occasion they could join in with and have someone there to talk to. These have proved to be a great way
It's not enough to put on the Coffee Mornings. We found that the biggest barrier for our VIPs attending the events was that some of them couldn't get to them. We invested, with the support of Caerphilly Council, in transportation and now coordinate pick up and drop-offs of our VIPs before and after our Coffee mornings.
We love awareness weeks as they really start conversations about such important topics. However, the conversation doesn't end here when it comes to the continued fight against loneliness. One in four adults feels lonely some or all of the time. There is no one size fits all solution but we truly are here to help. Want to help too?
Become one of our amazing and thoughtful volunteers. We're always looking for help and support whether it be for tin on a wall collections, kindness calls, drivers, or even admin and social media support.
Donate and help support RCV and the work we do in the community. £5 would cover the cost of a Kindness call or £20 would cover the cost of petrol for a week to transport our VIPs to their Coffee Mornings.
Together, we can ensure no-one in our community feels alone.