As our new ‘A Friendly Chat’ service completes its fourth week, I am delighted to say that we’ve made over 250 phone calls to our service users to combat isolation and share information about where to get practical support. We offer a listening ear and help people to stay connected.
People are looking forward to our phone calls – they are providing “lightness and laughter” in their week. It’s very apparent that many people are getting a lot of support from friends, family and neighbours – but, where possible, they are also looking to help other people. For example, one person has been practising the Mindfulness techniques they’ve learnt at the Stress Project especially around “letting go” and “learning to accept what she can and cannot control”. And while practising this herself she is also passing this advice on to other people. So, there is a new sense of community developing – passing on, or helping each other where we can.
Over the weeks I’ve noticed some trends appearing. In the first week people were very focused on getting on with it. “This is the situation and I’ll cope as best I can”, so to speak. In week 2, I found that people were becoming a little more stressed and needed more signposting to other support services for things like food delivery. In week 3, I sensed that people were becoming unmotivated and in week 4 the trend is more towards frustration, “when is this situation going to end?”. So, I’ve been offering little bits of advice - encouraging people to lean on their coping skills, such as Mindfulness, or signposting to something creative like an on-line art class.
I'm finding that our phone calls are really appreciated – people are asking how staff and other service users are and say they look forward to my call next week. It’s fantastic that Islington Council are referring people to our service – these are people who previously have not accessed our services so it’s great to welcome them into our community. If you know of someone who could benefit please do let us know.
Until next time,
Sahir – Older Men’s Project Worker