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Due to essential maintenance the following services will be unavailable on Saturday 20 April:

Precious Time: information for residents

Are you an older person who would like more contact with people? Do you know an older person who would benefit from more contact? Find out about the benefits and opportunities of Precious Time and where to get support.

South Gloucestershire is a vibrant place, with a wealth of groups, activities and things to do. However sometimes as people get older, getting out of the house becomes increasingly difficult due to disability or ill health. Sometimes people also lose confidence, perhaps as a result of bereavement.

It can be difficult to take the first step towards becoming more involved, particularly if you have lost confidence, and it only gets harder the longer you put it off, leading to feelings of loneliness.

Feeling lonely or isolated can be short lived, or become a longer term emotion. People who feel lonely may find it hard to talk about it, as they feel it is something they should not admit to. Thinking positively about doing something to help yourself and not blaming yourself are steps to feeling less lonely.  Feeling lonely is a normal emotion that is simply a sign of wanting contact with people.

If you think you are feeling lonely then why not try one or more of the following:

Acknowledge that you are lonely

If you have been feeling lonely for a while, a first step is to notice and identify this, even if just to yourself, so you can think about what you could do to help yourself.

Reaching out

If you would like to spend more time with your friends or family, let them know! Quite often you may assume that people do not want to visit you. This is understandable but often people will respond to an invitation and will come and spend quality time with you.

Look after yourself

If you can do something to improve your health, take small steps to eat well, take gentle exercise and keep active. All of these things can help you feel more positive and enjoy your own company.

Share your skills and time with others

Why not offer your time or specific skills by helping out in your street, neighbourhood or with a local organisations?

Your community and neighbourhood

Discover what local activities are happening in your area.  Maybe there are walks, singing groups, book or friendship clubs? These can offer gentle exercise and a regular social event to look forward to. Local community transport organisations may be able to help you to get to these activities, and also offer a programme of interesting trips and outings. Shopmobility in Yate can also support you to get around the centre of Yate safely.

Are you interested in meeting new friends and developing your cooking skills? Call 01454 863632 for more details. We are also looking for volunteers to deliver the sessions.

Just some of the ways you can get further information and support and get involved!

  • Wellaware is an online or telephone resource that holds information on local groups and activities in South Gloucestershire. Visit the Wellaware site, and enter your postcode to search for local groups or phone Wellaware for free on 0808 808 5252 for information on what is going on in your area.
  • To find out what is going on in your areas please go the One Big Database.
  • Speak to a health worker if you feel very lonely – long term loneliness could contribute to later depression and other health problems. Your GP should be able to direct you to local services.
  • Merlin Housing Society has a range of properties across South Gloucestershire, including sheltered housing. Merlin run a jam-packed programme of events and activities for people, whether they live in a Merlin property or not. For more information visit the Merlin website or call 01454 821080. Merlin also offer a reducing isolation referral service for people who need some one-to-one support to take part again in activities. Merlin staff work with people for up to three months, to support people to meet new friends, pursue interests and hobbies and to join in with local activities and groups. This is for everyone aged 55 and over.
  • There are services that support you to decide what you would like to get involved in and then help you take that first step and build your confidence. These services are run by Age UK and also Developing Health and Independence who run the Wellbeing Service from the Orchard Medical Centre in Kingswood. The service helps you deal with issues that may be affecting your health and wellbeing, such as low mood, anxiety, bereavement or isolation.
  • Befriending services are available from Age UK and RNIB, where a volunteer can visit you on an ongoing basis to offer support, company and conversation. This often happens in your home, but can also include trips outside the home.
  • Contact the Elderly run monthly tea parties on Sunday afternoons in volunteer hosts’ homes, with other volunteers picking up the guests and taking them home.
  • The South Gloucestershire Over 50s Forum offer a regular newsletter, meetings and special events.
  • If you are looking for some socialising and gentle exercise, why not try one of the weekly Friendship Clubs or call 01454 862296
  • The University of the Third Age  (U3a) offers a wealth of activities, suiting a range of interests. U3A Thornbury, U3A Yate and Chipping Sodbury, U3A Bristol

This is just a taste of the wide range of things you can get involved in. If you would like to talk through your options or discuss which group or support would suit you best, please contact us at precioustime@southglos.gov.uk or call us on 01454 862356.

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