Loneliness Awareness Week 2021

  • 17
  • Sep

It’s Loneliness Awareness Week from 14 June – 18 June 2021 and we’ve been talking to Milena Rola of the Living Well Services at Manor Gardens Welfare Trust, finding out about some of the events happening this week and support that is available if you’re feeling lonely.

Loneliness is a normal emotion that all of us feel. Having a conversation about it can help. If you are feeling lonely or isolated, or know someone who is, help is at hand. There are lots of organisations in Islington who can help you keep connected and feel more involved 

Here, Milena Rola from the Living Well Service provided by Manor Gardens Welfare Trust tells us a bit more about how loneliness affects the people they work with. Read on to find out about the support available for people who are feeling lonely and some of the activities taking place during Loneliness Awareness Week.   

Interview with Milena Rola of the Living Well Services at Manor Gardens Welfare Trust

At Manor Gardens we are finding that those affected by social isolation and loneliness have changed over the last year. We are supporting a lot more younger people who are struggling to do things on their own.

Many have been shielding and staying at home for over a year and are scared to go out now. Mental health is a major issues and most of the people we support have anxiety and depression. We are now working with younger people who have lost jobs, and are anxious about work. They are isolated, and just want to get in touch with someone. Although they are more digitally able, and can get social connection via internet, they don’t know where to start.

Tell us about the services Manor Gardens offer to keep people socially connected?

Manor Gardens’ Living Well services help people manage their own health and wellbeing and maximise their independence. Our services are diverse, reflecting the communities we work with, and include bilingual support and targeted interventions. Most of the people we help have multiple issues, all of which impact on their health and wellbeing, so we provide direct holistic support to individuals alongside a programme of activities and onward referrals, working in partnership with other services to resolve issues and improve lives.

Our current services include:

  • bilingual support for refugees and migrants, particularly for pregnant women and new mothers.
  • Triage, assessment and advocacy in English and community languages for vulnerable Islington residents, including those with multiple conditions and stroke survivors
  • Therapeutic support and advocacy for survivors of FGM and domestic violence
  • Support to promote social connections for isolated individuals
  • Raising awareness of mental wellbeing amongst Islington’s diverse communities.
  • Two nurseries offering stimulating and safe learning environments to give children the best start in life.

How do you help people?

During the pandemic we had 50 volunteers doing telephone befriending but we are now only offering this for people who are housebound. We offer a simple assessment for all people and talk through what they would like support with. We are now offering weekly coffee mornings, yoga sessions, and art sessions and have plans for activities to suit a range of people.

We support by helping people see what is out there, signpost them to peer coaches for a personal plan, and encourage them to go out, and search out possibilities for them. Most people still don’t know where to start. We provide encouragement, tell them what is available and support them to attend. As things return to normal we are hoping to recruit volunteers who will help take people out, have a coffee or a walk in the park or supporting them to attend our activities.

What can people do to help if they think a neighbour or someone they know may be feeling lonely or isolated?

Anyone can refer or self-refer to our services through our MGassistance@manorgardenscentre.org email address or by phoning 07483 149 519. Staff will talk through the needs and there is a simple form for referrers. For more information see www.manorgardenscentre.org

If you’re feeling lonely, or know someone who is 

If loneliness is affecting your life, there are things you can try that might help.  You can call We are Islington 7 days a week from 9am-5pm on 020 7527 8222, or search the Stay Connected directory for what support is available.  

If you’re feeling lonely or isolated, don’t suffer in silence. Help is at hand. We would be delighted to hear from you. 

AgeUK Islington: 0207 281 6018 or email gethelp@ageukislington.org.uk

Help on Your Doorstep: 020 3931 6080 or email connect@helponyourdoorstep.com 

Manor Gardens: MGassistance@manorgardenscentre.org

What’s happening this week?

The Stuart Low Trust have 3 events taking place during Loneliness Awareness Week.

  • Tuesday 15 June, 12-1pm – Gentle Exercise: Building Energy Through Movement class
  • Tuesday 15 June, 3-4pm – Choir (new members always welcome)
  • Friday 18 June 6.30-7.30pm – An Illustrated Talk by Rob Kayne: Old London Bridge – The one with Houses on Top

These are all free, and being delivered on zoom. To book a place, you simply need to email info@slt.org.uk

Age UK have the following events:

  • Monday 14th June 11am – 12noon (every Monday) – Art Journaling – Join us for a fun, creative, weekly session making your own “Art Journal”.  Use all sorts of materials and colour to create your own unique art book.
  • Tuesday 15th June 4 – 5pm (1st & 3rd Tuesdays) – How to Enjoy cooking! – Get Together with chef Natascha to try out some fabulous recipes in this online event. Whether you’re a complete novice or an experienced cook, do join us!
  • Tuesday 15th 11am-12noon (every Tuesday) – Painting Appreciation – Join us weekly to learn more about paintings from different eras and of different styles, led by our knowledgeable hosts. Share your ideas too, if you’d like!
  • Wednesday 16th June 11 – 12am (every Wednesday) – Reminiscence sessions – Have a chat and share memories at our weekly FREE social Reminiscence sessions.  There’ll be a different topic to inspire discussion, every week.
  • Friday 18th June 11am (every Friday) – Help reduce stress, anxiety and maintain flexibility! Join us for a special weekly online yoga & meditation session from your chair, or a mat.

The Home Library Service

If you cannot get to the library, let the library come to you! The service is free and we can arrange regular visits. Our friendly and experienced staff can provide a range of services:

  • Hardback, paperback and large print books
  • Audiobooks
  • Books in different languages
  • DVDs
  • Music CDs
  • You can request any item

For more information call the Home Library Service direct on 020 7527 7980 (9am-5pm,Monday–Friday), email home.libraryservice@islington.gov.uk or enquire at your local library

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