Golden Years Community Connecting
Golden Years offers an innovative Befriending/Community Connecting Service with a diverse range of options to help tackle isolation and loneliness for the over 60’s in Edinburgh.
Our Holistic Service aims to help people stay independent, safe and warm at home for as long as they wish to do so. The service is free and is delivered by our highly experienced staff and our wonderful team of dedicated, trained volunteers who offer encouragement, companionship and support to help our older people engage in and enjoy social, leisure and community activities.
We aim to help individuals achieve personal goals such as increased independence and confidence, and reduced isolation, and to develop social networks. The support provided is flexible and tailored to each individual, and is usually for up to 9 months.
The people we support are usually referred to us from health, social care and third sector professionals, and includes people experiencing the following range of circumstances:
- Poor mobility
- Returning home from a recent stay in hospital
- Living distant from family and friends
- A caring responsibility
- Depression and/or anxiety
- A recent/early dementia diagnosis
We carefully match those we support with a volunteer who helps them achieve personal goals aimed at regaining independence and overcoming their feelings of isolation and loneliness. We understand that everyone responds to different kinds of support, so we offer the following options:
- One-to-One Befriending
For a period of around 9 months, a volunteer will support the individual to achieve personal goals such as getting out-and-about more regularly to enjoy social and leisure activities. Where telephone support is preferred, we can arrange this too!
- Introductions to activity in the local community
We recognise that some people would simply benefit from a short amount of time to discover what is available in their community and make new connections. Our friendly volunteers will help them find out what is out there for them and support them in attending until they are confident to do so themselves.
- Group Activities
We fully recognise the social benefit of engaging with group activity and encourage our clients to link into existing local groups. We also run a weekly lunch club in partnership with Hibernian Football Club and Edinburgh Health & Social Care which offers nutritious home cooked food often accompanied by activities/entertainment. We also facilitate the start-up of various groups where a particular interest/need exists, such as our weekly Nordic Walking groups and various social/craft groups.
- Digital Support
We offer support to clients in finding the most cost effective/suitable internet provider. If required, we also support them with training on using their device, and in appropriate cases we can supply them with a device.
If you’re a professional looking to make a referral please download our Golden Years Referral Guidance first. To discuss working together in more detail please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that our services have been limited during COVID-19 restrictions and will recommence as and when it is safe to do so in line with government guidance.
Operational since Spring 2017, our Golden Years service is currently funded by National Lottery Community Fund and Edinburgh Health & Social Care Partnership.