Dealing With Loneliness

Loneliness and Isolation

Together in Sussex works in partnership with others organisation to help ease isolation and loneliness and across Sussex.

Everyone needs friendship and conversation. Yet we know that loneliness and social isolation are real issues for lots of people in the UK – of all ages. And the number of people who describe themselves as lonely is growing every year.

Together in Sussex can help churches to set up Community Wellbeing cafe and Hear Here clinic, to help tackle loneliness in our communities. We work in partnership with organisations listed below who are a source of information and support.

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Places of Welcome

Places of Welcome is a partnership of Near Neighbours, the Together Network and CUF. Places of Welcome are run by local community groups who want everyone in their neighbourhood to have a place to go for a friendly face, a cup of tea and a conversation if and when they need it.

With over 600 across the UK, each Place of Welcome is unique but all provide a place for people to connect with one another, find belonging and offer gifts and skills that interest them. Places of Welcome take place in a variety of different venues including churches, community centres, libraries, mosques, temples and other community group buildings across the UK.

Joining the POW network does not cost anything, and usually does not mean you need to do anything different. If you are a place of worship or other public space, there is a high chance that you already offer something that means you are eligible to call your space a Place of Welcome.

To be a Place of Welcome, your location must meet all the criteria of their 5 values:

Place: An accessible and hospitable building, open at the same time every week
People: Open to everyone regardless of their circumstances or situation, and staffed by volunteers
Presence: A place where people actively listen to one another
Provision: Offering free refreshments (at least a cup of tea and a biscuit) and basic local information
Participation: Every person will bring talents, experiences and skills that they may be willing to share locally

So, if you already offer something like a coffee morning or an afternoon tea club you will just continue doing what you do - but you can join our network, making yourself more accessible and helping more people to feel safe to connect, belong and contribute! If you are interested in finding out more click the hyperlink here for their website. You can also find their sign-up form to join the network here.

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Time To Talk

Time To Talk are a charity motivated to honour and respect older people, providing services which are proven to overcome loneliness and social isolation. Since their foundation in 2013 they have helped over 2000 local older people to “feel like I’m in the world again”. Time To Talk pride themselves on building trusted relationships and bringing people together to create a sense of belonging. Time To Talk offer a range of services and are carrying out a number of projects to help battle loneliness in the UK.

"Thanks to the volunteer support of retired health and social care professionals, we capture satisfaction data and insights from our scheme members and volunteers through regular reviews. These responses are monitored on a monthly basis to identify gaps in provision and areas for growth and development. ​

We are committed to learning from the experiences of older people and, working with organisations such as the University of Sussex, carry out extensive research projects, which can be downloaded here.

We share our research both locally and nationally, and hope that our findings can help to shine a light on the challenges faced by many older people."

Would you like to learn more? Check out their website here.

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Befriended is a charity born out of a desire and passion for making a difference in the lives of lonely, isolated older people living in Mid Sussex. They have been a registered Charity, since 2017, and offer a range of services include face to face befriending, care and residential home visits by their chaplaincy team, community events, monthly afternoon teas, bereavement courses, and Befriended Balance; a weekly exercise class for the over 65s.

"In 2023 Befriended hosted over 1000 older people for afternoon tea, held over 40 exercise classes, journeyed with over 100 through bereavement courses, delivered chaplaincy to over 1000 people in their care homes, taken 126 to theatre trips & outings, launched a new weekly community choir with over 40 regular attendees, started a grief café in two venues and we finished the year by hosting over 80 for Christmas lunch!"

If you are interested in referring somebody or volunteering on one of Befriended's services, please check out their website for more details.

Note- the criteria for being referred to their Befriending scheme is:

- Over 65 years old
- Limited or no family or friends who visit regularly
- Lonely and spend a lot of time alone
- Able to form a friendship and maintain a conversation
- Living in Mid Sussex

So that by God's will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company

Romans 15:32