There are times in everyone’s life when we can feel lonely or isolated, and loneliness among older people can often be exacerbated during winter when the cold weather makes it more difficult to get out and about. Thanks to funds raised by the Surviving Winter appeal, over 180 older people living in Norfolk who find themselves lonely and isolated have been provided with companionship through weekly telephone chats this winter.

Our Surviving Winter appeal is taking action to ensure vulnerable people across Norfolk receive the support that they need to get through the cold winter months. Isolation is a concerning issue across Norfolk, and our appeal partner, local charity Age UK Norfolk, is providing essential companionship by telephone to people over 60 across Norfolk who find themselves lonely and isolated.

Every week people receive a call for an enjoyable chat with one of the charity’s local volunteers or staff members and can also take part in a fun quiz, all of which can ease feelings of loneliness and isolation. Calls are free, and the volunteers also provide access to advice and funding, and information about social opportunities locally. These calls can prove to be a lifeline over the winter months.

How the Surviving Winter appeal has helped Tom*

Tom* started receiving telephone calls six months ago after he came out of hospital and was feeling lonely. His family live some distance away and he lives alone in rural Norfolk. He is unable to get out and about like he used to due to mobility issues.

He doesn’t enjoy Christmas much so volunteer Emma offered to give him a call on Christmas Day. They chatted for an hour and Tom explained “I don’t really have Christmas and I’m glad it’s all over. I live on my own and pleased you phoned.”

During a cold spell in January, the befriending team checked with Tom that he was keeping warm. Although he lives in a large house, he said it is a new build and is well insulated. The team keep in touch with Tom every week, and they enjoy his calls as much as he does!

How you can help

The Surviving Winter appeal needs urgent help to continue to help those who find themselves isolated or lonely. Every penny donated will go directly to local charities to enable them to provide essential help to some of the most vulnerable people in Norfolk.

You can donate online, or alternatively please make your cheque payable to Norfolk Community Foundation (referencing Surviving Winter) and send it to Norfolk Community Foundation, St. James Mill, Whitefriars, Norwich, NR3 1TN, or telephone us on 01603 623958.

Every donation, no matter how small, makes a difference.