Be a friend in Croydon: act now and help change the future of loneliness

By - Thursday 18th June, 2015

National Care Home Open Day takes place this Friday (19th June), and the national charity Friends of the Elderly encourages Croydon residents to combat loneliness and get to know their elderly neighbours at two local care homes, Woodcote Grove House and Orford House.

Photo by Friends of the Elderly, used with permission.

Release begins: Friends of the Elderly’s Be a Friend campaign is combatting loneliness in the older population by encouraging people to get to know their older neighbours.

Be a Friend is a direct response to the national charity’s research report, The Future of Loneliness, which found that over five million older people in the UK are affected by loneliness, with more than a million (1 in 10 older people) saying they often feel lonely. The research also predicts that demographic change alone will drive up the number of lonely older people in the UK by 40 per cent over the next 15 years.

But why does it matter? Further research shows that loneliness can be as harmful to health as smoking and obesity and can cause depression and feelings of low self worth.

The good news is that over half of people surveyed would like to help reduce isolation in their community, but almost 1 in 3 of respondents say they do not have the confidence to do so. Simply having everyday interactions is one way of combatting loneliness, which is why Friends of the Elderly is connecting neighbours, individuals and communities across the country by encouraging everyone to Be a Friend.

Being a friend is easy – it’s just getting to know the people that live around you and looking out for each other where you can. It may sound simplistic, but a small gesture such as a hello at the bus stop or a chat over the garden fence can have a big impact. For many older people, this might be the first and only contact they have with another human being that week. It really is that easy for you to make someone feel less alone and help make sure everyone leads a happy and fulfilled life, whatever their age.

In Coulsdon, Friends of the Elderly runs two care homes: Woodcote Grove House and Orford House. These are both opening for National Care Home Open Day on 19 June – this is a brilliant opportunity for the people of Croydon to Be a Friend by coming along and getting to know the people who live there. An afternoon tea party with entertainment will take place between 2:30pm and 4:30pm in the grounds between the homes. If you are unable to make this event, then keep an eye on our Facebook page for other opportunities to get involved.

Make a promise about how you will Be a Friend at

Release ends.

Release sender: Friends of the Elderly.



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