United in Kind

Essex Befriends Supports United in Kind Campaign Launch

Action for Family Carers, Independent Age, Mind in West Essex and Hamelin Trust are working together to help address loneliness and social isolation in Essex. 

Our befriending services are aimed at adults who are most likely to experience loneliness or social isolation: older people, people with learning disabilities, people with mental health needs and family carers. Services available will include telephone befriending, face to face meetings within the local community, home visits, Skype calls, email contact and group activities.

With this in mind, Essex Befriends is proud to support the United in Kind campaign to create a social movement that will raise awareness of loneliness in Essex.

The campaign wants to give people the means to take positive action directly and through their networks, while raising awareness of the issue and giving people the chance to talk about loneliness. Today marks the launch of The KindTogether initiative, using social media to encourage Essex residents to pass on everyday acts of kindness, from simply saying hello to a neighbour to volunteering time to a good cause.

There are many ways to take part in KindTogether. The suggested every day acts of kindness range from small everyday gestures, to those with more commitment, including: 

  • Offering to help pack someone’s shopping 
  • Putting out a neighbour’s bin
  • Volunteering an hour per week to a good cause. Essex Befriends is looking for volunteer befrienders to visit those who are lonely or socially isolated.
  • Posting a letter or pictures to distant family and friends
  • Attending a class with someone 

Julie Atkinson, Essex Befriends manager said: “Through kindness, we can develop meaningful connections within our community, as well as family and friendship groups, and through meaningful connections, we can combat loneliness. 

“Loneliness can affect anyone at any time. Acts of kindness, even simple things like a neighbour picking up milk for you, can make us all feel more connected. If someone does something kind for you, think of how you can return the favour, or better yet – pass on that kindness to someone new. We can all be a part of strengthening relationships within our communities and tackling loneliness in Essex.

For further information about Essex Befriends please visit www. essexbefriends.org.uk, or call 0300 770 1263. 

For further information about United in Kind and KindTogether please follow @unitedinkind on Facebook and follow #unitedinkind for tips on how to make small differences in the community every day, and see what events are taking place across Essex.

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