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Healthy Valleys offers older people chance to Reconnect

Healthy Valleys

Making new friends - Participants of Healthy Valleys' Reconnect Programme

Healthy Valleys’ Reconnect project offers vital support to isolated older people living in rural South Lanarkshire. To date the project has offered tailored support to over 300 individuals. The project encourages older people to participate in health walks – a gentle stroll in the countryside – and to attend community cafes in Douglas, Lanark, Kirkmuirhill, Rigside and Carstairs Junction where they enjoy a nice light lunch and meet new people.

At the beginning of 2019 Healthy Valleys launched an extension to ReConnect which is specifically for housebound older people. This sensitive, free and confidential service offers home visits and telephone befriending to people over the age of 50 and staying in Coalburn, Douglas or Glespin. This project extension is funded by Ventient Energy Galawhistle, allowing the provision of the befriending service to combat loneliness and isolation in the villages of Douglas, Glespin and Coalburn. 

Healthy Valleys has recruited and trained a team of volunteers who have built caring relationships with lonely older people, visiting them in their homes or chatting on the telephone providing a vital link to their community.  

Reconnect CDG has now been running for 6 months and we are already hearing about the positive impact it’s having on the lives of our beneficiaries and volunteers.

For participants the project has provided the opportunity for social connection, one told us “It’s difficult for men to admit they’re lonely, I look forward to him visiting, it gives me a chance to talk about things that matter to me.”

Healthy Valleys volunteers also comment that they feel valued and that they’re making a difference, “It’s a truly rewarding role, I know I’m the only person she speaks to some days, a few minutes of my time makes so much difference to her day.”

Project Worker Kate Williamson says “We’re so pleased that the project is making such a difference to people’s lives and  I’m sure there are others who would benefit but don’t know about the project yet! If you know of anyone in Coalburn, Douglas or Glespin who is housebound and might benefit from a friendly phone call or a home visit then please contact me for further information. We are also recruiting volunteers to help us extend the service, so if you could give a couple of hours a week to support a lonely, isolated older person then Healthy Valleys would love to hear from you!”

If you would like to find out more about the Reconnect project, please call Kate or Barbara at Healthy Valleys on 01555 662496.