Reach Out project set to tackle loneliness in North Herts and Stevenage

PUBLISHED: 07:01 15 January 2019

The new Reach Out project needs volunteers from Stevenage and North Herts. Picture: SpeedKingz/Shutterstock

The new Reach Out project needs volunteers from Stevenage and North Herts. Picture: SpeedKingz/Shutterstock

Archant

A new scheme to help patients recently discharged from hospital has been launched in North Herts and Stevenage.

Set up by the North Herts Centre for Voluntary Services, the project will see volunteers assisting those recently out of hospital who may need extra help or feel lonely and isolated.

Project manager Vicky Hudson said: “The transition between leaving hospital and feeling fully recovered can last several months.

“Very quickly, a previously independent person may become lonely and isolated and may have lost confidence in getting out and about in the local community.

“This is a time when Reach Out North Herts and Stevenage will make a real difference to people’s lives.

“Local volunteers will be able to provide practical and emotional support and encouragement to a person during their period of recovery.”

National data shows that the number of hospital readmissions among older people is increasing.

A survey conducted by the Royal Voluntary Service found that 46 per cent of people aged 75 and over who had been in hospital at some point in the last five years were now living alone.

While many people are happy to return home after being discharged from hospital, many also feel anxious and frightened.

The project is looking for people living in North Herts and Stevenage who are willing to give a bit of time to someone recently home from hospital to help the cope with this anxiety and loneliness.

The project allows people to volunteer flexibly, to fit in with their other commitments.

The kinds of tasks that volunteers may take on include shopping, helping with paperwork and household jobs, or even just having a cup of tea and a chat.

To register your interest or for more information, go to the website – reachout-project.org.uk.

You will be directed to a platform called Ami, which will allow you register your interest.

The Reach Out team will then be in touch to take you through the next steps.

To get in touch with the North Herts Centre for Voluntary Service, which is based in Letchworth, call 01462 689400.

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