Re-engage will bring together Croydon’s diverse communities to tackle loneliness among isolated older people over 75.
What are we doing in Croydon?
The aim of our project is to:
- Launch 3 new monthly social gatherings for lonely older people over 75
- Supported by 50 volunteers from the Croydon community
- Creating 360 new, strong friendships which benefit older guests and volunteers alike
Who are we?
Re-engage is a charity making sure that people can have social lives and friendship groups however old they are. We inspire and enable meaningful connections and shared experiences within communities across the UK for people over 75.
Our volunteers work together to create better communities and help to enrich the lives of our members by giving them something to look forward to. Older people who may have felt very alone, now feel valued as individuals, continue to form friendships, and have groups that give support. We make sure that people know they are important well into old age.
How we bring people together
Supported by a nationwide network of over 12,000 volunteers, we organise free, monthly social gatherings for small groups of isolated older people.
These meetups – which are often tea parties - provide the foundations for new friendships to form, all around laughter and thousands of litres of tea produced every year by our volunteers.
It currently costs on average £6,000 to launch one group in the UK, that's why we're asking for £18,000 for three groups.
So... why Croydon?
Re-engage has been providing free, regular social gatherings in Croydon for older people who feel very alone for decades with the help of our amazing Croydon volunteers.
We are ready to do more. We want to provide for every single lonely older person who asks for our help. Our aim is to bring the whole community together behind this project.
Through this campaign we will set up 3 new groups in Croydon to bring friendship, happiness and a sense of value to more lonely people over 75 than ever before.
Is the situation that bad?
Croydon Council has highlighted social isolation as a serious issue for residents of the borough.
Croydon has the third highest population of older people in London, with the greatest increase in those 75 to 85+. The older we grow the more likely we are to be lonely and socially isolated as we lose social networks, friends and family.
Many older people go up to six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone. Loneliness has been linked to poor mental and physical health including an increased risk of heart disease, dementia and depression.
Why tea parties? Why Sundays?
- We keep our tea parties purposely small, which also allows our volunteers to host them in the welcoming environment of their homes. It's all the more comfortable and less daunting for new older guests.
- We organise them on weekends, when most community services for older people are not available. Moreover, Sunday has been highlighted to us by our older guests as being a particularly lonely day of the week.
How bad is the situation for older people?
- 3.6 million older people in the UK live alone, with 2 million of these aged 75 or older
- 1.9 million older people have said they often feel ignored or invisible
- 40% of older people say that the television is their main source of company
- 95% of the older people we work with say they now have something to look forward to
- 55% of guests said that their wellbeing has improved since joining us
- 85% say what they enjoy the most about the gatherings is the company
On top of rewards donated by Croydon-based businesses, we will also create a small range of products highlighting our passion and dedication for Croydon.