Serious about not allowing loneliness to take hold, Broadland Housing has this week announced an initiative to run in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
The message comes just three weeks before staff from the association show their commitment to The Benjamin Foundation Norwich Sleep Out – an initiative which they believe ties in with the ethos of their new campaign.
Branded ‘Better Together’ Broadland Housing’s new measure will highlight the wide range of services, events and activities available in local communities to help tenants make new connections, find support networks and meet new friends.
During Better Together Week, at the end of November, the Tenancy Support Team intend to visit tenants in rural schemes, hold drop-in sessions, host craft activities, raise awareness of issues via social media, and place food-bank collection boxes in the area.
Alison Thomas, Deputy Leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “People who are lonely are more likely to suffer ill health, more likely to be reliant on public services and more likely to lose their independence. Recent research* also suggests that loneliness is a particular challenge in Norfolk.
“In Good Company is designed to combat loneliness by galvanising individuals and organisations to do as much as they can to ensure no one spends a lonely day in Norfolk if they don’t want to.
“We know that there are many organisations and businesses that are working hard to tackle this problem across Norfolk, so we’re delighted that Broadland is reaching out to its tenants and communities to do just this through its Better Together campaign.”
The timing of the formal start to the campaign in November is to coincide with the Norwich Sleep Out – an event which will see four Broadland Housing staff taking part.
“This issue links strongly into our Better Together campaign,” said Kevin Gee, Tenancy Support Manager (pictured, with colleagues).
“Homelessness can often be a very lonely, isolating and traumatic experience, which can have a major effect on somebody’s mental health. The event is not meant to replicate the hardship faced by those who are homeless. However, it will highlight the difficult challenges of sleeping outside in the elements.”
The Broadland team, which also includes Jess Kent, Daniel Nolan and Sarah Cook aims to raise £500 for the Benjamin Foundation. Their fundraising link is http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Broadland63.