Combatting loneliness and isolation - Thanet

Research has shown that more and more of us are at risk of becoming lonely and isolated as we age. This could be triggered by a number of factors such as losing a loved one, moving to a new area, retiring, caring for a friend or relative, or changing physical or mental health.

How we cope depends on the individual of course and what suits one person may not suit another. Some people feel happiest receiving visits or taking part in activities at home, while others find partaking in activities / courses / volunteering outside the home fulfils them.

There are many local and national projects and charities offering something for everyone. Finding out about these is often not easy, especially for those who are not computer savvy.

We keep a folder of information in the reception area of our main Margate office for those who prefer their information on paper and have tried to include as many details as possible on this page to help you find something which may suit you. We are also happy to help you in contacting an organisation or charity (free of charge) if you would like us to as we appreciate that taking that first step isn’t always easy.

Local projects / charities

Community Outreach project - this project aims to combat loneliness and isolation and works with lots of other groups and charities. Tel: 01304 367898 Website: www.thanetsupport.co.uk.

Age UK - Age UK offer a huge range of services to help people to maintain independence and reduce social isolation. These services include a befriending service, social activities, handyman services, meal delivery and so on. Please click here for their timetable of activities and other services.

Befriending services

The Good Neighbours befriending service is open to anybody aged 60 or above, and their volunteer befrienders can help by:

  • Visiting you for a cup of tea and a chat
  • Going out shopping with / for you
  • Going with you for a stroll or short trip
  • De-cluttering

They can also support you with:

  • Regular chats over the phone
  • Helping on the admin or organising side of things
  • Attending one of their monthly lunches.

Telephone: 07816 406359

Email: thanetgns@kcv.org.uk

Social Groups and activities

'Your Time' groups run an active programme of events and activities to provide companionship and the opportunity to try out new activities in a fun and friendly environment.        

They run two weekly social groups in Thanet:

  • Your Time Ramsgate - Wednesday afternoon, 1pm-3pm, Centenary Hall, Hardres Street, CT11 8QP
  • Your Time Westbrook - Thursday morning, 11am-1pm, All Saints' Church Hall, Margate, CT9 5QL

There is a £3 contribution for each session which covers refreshments and most activities. There is a different activity each week, from chair-based exercise to live music, arts and crafts and guest speakers. They also hold fortnightly raffles to support the groups.

'Your Time' also link with local travel companies to arrange day trips and can organise pick up from home or a local pick-up point so that the trips are accessible to all. They also hold a Christmas Party at each group and go out for a Christmas meal.

Telephone 07816 406379, or email heather.keen@kcv.org.uk or simply turn up at the venue and time mentioned above.

The Garden Gate project is a community garden with the aim of enabling people to improve the quality of their life, social interaction and physical and mental health in a supportive community environment. Activities include horticultural therapy, arts and crafts and courses to improve mental health and wellbeing.

For more information on available services and volunteering opportunities, telephone 07714 742456 or email info@thegardengateproject.co.uk

The Broadstairs Town Shed is a volunteer led initiative. A place for older people, (55+) to get together, and participate in meaningful and rewarding DIY/woodwork and metalwork-based activities.

Joining the Shed can help tackle loneliness and isolation, allows members to share and learn new skills, and increases community involvement & engagement.

The Shed works with many other local organisations and support groups, providing carpentry and woodworking skills to help those projects in turn.

For more information or if you are interested in becoming a member or a volunteer, please email debbie@broadstairstownshed.org.uk or telephone 07597 349290 or 01843 867580.

Volunteering Opportunities

If you would like to give something back, make new friends, gain a new skill and so on, volunteering may be for you. You can volunteer whether you are male, female; young, old; employed, unemployed; have or don’t have a disability; no matter what your ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation, culture or background.

If you have access to a computer, use the following link for Simply Connect Volunteering to search for volunteering opportunities:

https://www.vcconnectsystem.org.uk/KentCoastVolunteeringVMS2/VolunteerOpportunities/OpportunitySearch

Otherwise, please contact Kent Volunteer Partnership by telephone: 01304 367898 or email: volunteering@kcv.org.uk

Not sure what to do?

If you would like our help in exploring opportunities, please feel free to contact Paula Patton on 01843 269284, or by email, for a free and confidential chat.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.