A Sheffield charity is benefiting from the involvement of key religious leaders in the city as they host their ‘Friendly Visiting’ month during April. The charity, Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care (SCCCC), celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year, and provides a range of services that support older people, including a project that helps to prevent loneliness.
The Friendly Visiting Scheme uses volunteers, who visit an older person on a weekly basis to try to limit the loneliness they face. Many of the older people visited have difficulties that prevent them getting around on their own, affecting their independence and making it difficult for them to socialise. The volunteers with the charity help bring a sense of connection to the outside world, and contribute to improving the lives of those they visit.
Friendly Visiting Month will see the Bishop of Sheffield, the Bishop of Hallam and the Sheffield Methodist District Chair visiting older people within the community, along with volunteers from the charity.
The Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Rev Dr Steven Croft, says:
“Visiting someone else is an act of love and kindness and, invariably, the visitor receives as much as the person they visit. I hope and pray that SCCCC will be able to recruit a new generation of volunteers from the churches and faith communities to continue and build on their excellent work into the future.”
Volunteers are supported by the charity, given appropriate training, and then matched with older people by needs and preferences, such as finding someone who lives close by, or someone who can play dominoes with them.
Dot Fisher, the charity’s Good Neighbour Scheme coordinator, says:
“After 50 years visiting Sheffield’s older people, we know that our wonderful volunteer ‘Friendly Visitors’ are needed more than ever in the fight to combat loneliness. The older people who get a visitor are the lucky ones. So many more people could benefit, if we had more volunteers who could give just a little time.”
The charity is currently looking for volunteers, and welcomes applications from anybody who considers themselves to be patient and reliable. If you are interested in finding out more about friendly visiting with Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care, visit www.scccc.co.uk, or get in touch with the Volunteer Co-ordinator on 0114 250 5293.