LONDON, 2018 – Loneliness and isolation has become one of the most pressing social issues of our time. The numbers are striking: 9 million people always or sometimes feel lonely in the UK, and the costs to the economy have reached £32 billion, surpassing those of obesity. This can particularly affect older people who may be isolated due to decreased mobility and loss of friends and partners, leading to a form of involuntary solitary confinement.
An innovative social enterprise is addressing this need for connection in our community. BuddyHub is creating new meaningful friendships for older people feeling lonely, forming a support group around them. A ‘Senior’ member is carefully matched and introduced to three ‘Buddy’ volunteers in their community. Members are matched based on location, interests and personality and, together, they form what they call a ‘Friendship Wheel’.
BuddyHub has a personalised, fun and flexible approach so that members can develop meaningful friendships that enriches the lives of all involved. The three Buddies in the ‘Friendship Wheel’ share visits to their Senior either one-to-one or as a group. Members are empowered to decide when to meet and what to do. So it’s up to them whether they will be strolling around an art gallery or watching major sporting events on television.
Catherine McClen, CEO and Founder of BuddyHub explains: “Traditional befriending schemes usually have strict rules about when and where visits can take place and restrict interactions outside pre-agreed times. We have softer boundaries helping to create the conditions for friendships to flourish naturally supported by BuddyHub. We want to spark long-term friendships, creating a new support group around an older adult to help them live well as they age.”
Buddies help Seniors regain confidence, rediscover their interests and re-engage with their community. In exchange, Buddies gain more purpose in their lives, meet new like-minded people and feel more valued. That’s what BuddyHub is all about, having fun and enjoying each other’s company.
“I’m getting back to living and not just functioning. I’m starting to do the things I was interested in before. It’s like I’ve woken up.”, Senior member.
“I was matched with a gentleman I never would have met in the normal course of life. It’s been my pleasure to spend time with him talking about life and our different experiences”, Buddy member.
Become a Buddy volunteer!
Want to help your community in just one hour? BuddyHub’s fun and flexible model is proving very popular. This is an opportunity to open someone’s world and brighten yours too. BuddyHub is looking for Buddies aged 50 or over, in particular, to join as Buddies but all ages above 18 are very welcome.
Become a Senior member!
Fancy some good company and conversation? If you are 55 or over BuddyHub can create a personalised circle of new friends just for you based on your interest and passions. Your Buddies will enrich your life with regular company and occasions to look forward to. Affordable membership fees apply.
Register online: https://buddyhub.co.uk
Email: [email protected]
Call: 0203 642 6871 or 0771 411 8916