What is Engage Wellbeing?
The Engage Wellbeing Programme provides a volunteer befriender to support isolated adults (18+) to help them sustain or improve their emotional and mental wellbeing. This currently consists of a regular telephone calls to chat, share experiences and provide emotional support. As we come out of lockdown, it is anticipated that this will transition into a service which provides face to face befriending and support to vulnerable people; assisting them to rebuild confidence to engage in the wider community.
Engage Wellbeing is also working with a network of local churches to support the development of community cafe’s. These are designed to be safe spaces for those struggling with emotional and mental wellbeing to come to find friendship and support.
Why is this important?
Engage Wellbeing has developed as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. There is a growing need to support people whose emotional and mental health and wellbeing have been affected; particularly as a result of enforced isolation. . Research by the Mental Health Foundation which has monitored people’s mental health throughout the course of the pandemic indicates that whilst the population as a whole has coped well there are groups of people. (eg long term sick, single parents, young people) who have been most vulnerable to deterioration in mental health. In our own work through the pandemic, 98% of those referred to Engage Wellbeing and in need of our service would fit one of the above criteria. We know from research by AgeUK that isolation has a significant detrimental effect upon a person’s sense of wellbeing. (AgeUK 2017)
Our aim therefore is to support the recovery of those who have experienced emotional or mental ill health difficulties during the pandemic by providing positive, affirming relationships and practical emotional support, resulting in an improved emotional resilience and sense of wellbeing.