Caring Kingsmead residents are being encouraged to be Compassionate Neighbours and lend their support to older people in the community.
Sanctuary Housing has been working with the Hackney Marsh Partnership and the Compassionate Neighbours initiative to provide training to recruit residents to the programme.
The project was set up to help tackle social isolation among older people in the neighbourhood through volunteers visiting their home and providing companionship.
A free four-day course is now offering anyone over the age of 18 training to become a Compassionate Neighbour, which would involve offering an isolated resident social and emotional support and help reconnecting to their community.
Coffee morning information sessions are being held from 9.30am to 11.30am every Monday between 7 and 28 November at Kingsmead Community Centre, on Kingsmead Way where residents can meet Compassionate Neighbours and find out more about the project and the training.
Sophie Lejeune-Peggie, Sanctuary’s neighbourhood partnerships manager, said: “Social isolation is a growing concern among older generations and it’s great to work with Compassionate Neighbours to give residents the skills and confidence to ensure they feel confident about assisting those they may feel need extra support in the community.
“By working with the Hackney Marsh Partnership and supporting keen volunteers, we hope we can help all our residents enjoy healthy, happy and fulfilled lives, with access to any support they need.”
A life changing experience
Kito, a full time carer for his autistic son, trained with the Compassionate Neighbours project last autumn and has been matched to Joseph who has been living with Parkinson’s disease for over 20 years.
For Kito, becoming a Compassionate Neighbour has changed his life.
He said: “I have so much confidence now; I have learnt to really listen to people and let them do the talking.
“I think that the training has helped my relationship with my son too; he’s come on really well and I’ve learnt that patience really pays off.”
Compassionate Neighbours is a St Joseph’s Hospice project and is funded by the Connect Hackney initiative, which provides activities and resources for people over the age of 50.
For more information or to book onto the course, please contact Joy Kahumbu, Compassionate Neighbours project coordinator, on 020 8525 3206 or by email.