Connected Communities team help reduce feelings of loneliness in East Suffolk

Loneliness & isolation affects millions of people in the UK every year and is a key driver of poor mental health. So much so that it is the focus of the Mental Health Foundation’s ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ campaign, running from 9th – 15th May

If you are lonely, over 65, and living in the rural communities surrounding Framlingham, Wickham Market, Woodbridge Deben or rural Waveney in East Suffolk, our Connected Communities team can help.

Designed to support you in reconnecting with your community, the team want to find out what matters to YOU, not what is wrong with you. They will work with you to help you reach your own personal goals and help you achieve independence and a community connection.

Geoff was recently referred to Phil, one of our Community Connectors, for advice on how to change his Lasting Power of Attorney. During conversations, Geoff mentioned he had a mobility scooter that he would love to donate to someone, but didn’t know where to start.

Phil, who works with multiple individuals and organisations across the rural Waveney area, was able to step in and help. As a Community Connector, Phil knew that Linda, who had recently been referred to him with mobility issues, may be the perfect solution.

After initial conversations with them both, Phil was able to introduce Geoff and Linda, with the three of them meeting to allow Linda to view the mobility scooter.

Although delighted with what she saw, Linda was worried she did not have space to store the scooter safely inside. Over a cup of tea and a chat, Linda, Geoff and Phil decided that between the three of them they could clear a small space in Linda’s garage with a date arranged for them to meet.

Whilst clearing this space, Geoff, who is a retired engineer, noticed the garage door had come off its runners, making it difficult to open and close. As he had the practical skills and liked helping people, Geoff volunteered to resolve this on a later visit.

Since these initial introductions, the mobility scooter has been serviced professionally, and has now been passed to Linda. Geoff and Linda have continued working together, with the assistance of Connected Communities, to build a relationship, help each other out, and reduce their isolation. They have both recognised they have something to offer their community, which has built their confidence.

Phil, Community Connector, said: “My job is about expanding the range of options available to people as they grapple with a problem. We often need a structure to support us when we take the steps to make a change. I act as a bridge to connect people with social opportunities”

Could Connected Communities help you reach a personal goal?

Connected Communities is a free confidential service available to everyone over the age of 65 in Suffolk.

By using the service you will get access to someone who can….

  • Talk to you confidentially.
  • Give practical, helpful, non-judgemental advice.
  • Help you decide what you would like to do to improve your health and wellbeing.
  • Refer you to appropriate services and activities.

We are able to offer you one to one appointments with a highly trained local Community Connector. They will spend time talking through the issues that matter to you and help you come up with solutions, often by linking you to services within your local community.

For more information please contact our Information hub on hello@suffolkfamilycarers.org or telephone 01473 835477

Mental Health Awareness week  

Supported by the Mental Health Foundation, and aims to raise awareness of loneliness and the mental health issues it can cause.

The Foundation’s Mental Health in the Pandemic research has found that loneliness has been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. Further polling also found that loneliness was one of the leading issues that the public felt needed to be addressed.

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/news/mental-health-foundation-announces-loneliness-theme-mental-health-awareness-week-2022