Making Pals project to tackle social isolation in care homes

PUBLISHED: 08:00 21 June 2018

The scheme helps people to make new friends and share skills.

The scheme helps people to make new friends and share skills.

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A charity hopes to pair people up with care home residents in Weston to prevent social isolation and to enable the next generation to learn new skills.

Making Pals is a project run by Alive which aims to build meaningful relationships between communities and care home residents.

It also enables older people to enjoy their favourite pastimes and share their knowledge.

Alive is holding an exhibition at Weston Museum from Tuesday to July 2 to enable people to find out more about the project.

Project manager Emma Dyer said: “The project has spent a year talking to over 150 care home residents about what activities they’d like to take part in with their local community, as well as what skills they’d like to offer.

“Now at the beginning of its second year, Making Pals is launching to the public to encourage them to visit people in their local care homes to share interests, skills and cups of tea.

“The exhibition will centre around a ‘pledge box’ that encourages local people to pledge to contact a resident that they share a skill or an interest with.”

The exhibition will display the wishes and skills from the residents involved in the project.

People will also be able to talk to staff about Making Pals and pledge to visit a nearby care home to spend time with a resident.

Emma added: “From farmers to jam makers, and tailors to fishermen – there’s a wealth of skills and advice out there, just waiting for a question from you.

“We’ve had offers from residents who would be happy to teach: cross stitch, photography, gardening, fixing car engines, knitting, embroidery, crochet, carpentry, woodwork, and more.

“Whatever your interests, and skills, come along and see if there’s something for you.

“All too often after moving into a care home older people can find themselves isolated from their communities and from the opportunity to take part in certain hobbies, such as fishing.

“Social isolation and loneliness is one of the biggest issues facing older people in care homes today, affecting mental health, wellbeing and even life expectancy.”

Alive is the UK’s leading charity enriching the lives of older people in care.

The Making Pals project connects care homes with their communities across the North Somerset and surrounding areas.

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