Eltham Palace Volunteers Needed to help Older People

A charity that supports older people has experienced a collapse in volunteer recruitment in London in the last few months.

Re-engage, which fights loneliness and isolation among those aged 75 and over, has set-up five venues in the capital for activity groups – including a room at Eltham Palace, the boyhood home of Henry VIII.

But during the first four months of this year the number of people volunteering for Re-engage in London has fallen by nearly two-thirds from over 1000 to just 380 compared to the last four months of 2023.

So, while dozens of older people wait to join one of the activity groups the charity, which started in1965, is urgently seeking volunteers.

Ed Nash, Engagement Team Manager ReEngage

Ed Nash, Engagement Team Manager at the charity said: “We don’t know why there has been a sudden dearth of volunteers in London but it’s causing us some concern.

“Our activity groups bring lonely older people together, allowing them to make friends, have a little fun, exercise gently and gives the opportunity to just get out of the house which, sadly, is a rarity for some of them.

“We really hope volunteers will come forward to help us run these groups and provide a lifeline for many older people, especially now we have such fantastic venues.”

As well as Eltham Palace, which is run by English Heritage, Re-engage hopes to run activity groups at; Hampstead Court Care Home in Hampstead; Minterne Apartments in White City; Higham’s Park Seventh Day Adventist Church, Waltham Forest and with the Notting Hill Genesis Housing Association.

Janet,78, who attends one of the charity’s existing activity groups, said: “I have family but I was feeling isolated until I joined a group which really got me out in the world again. I enjoy the exercise but it’s also great to meet people of a similar age, to have a laugh, a chat and catch-up on things. Just socialising is so important.”  

If you’d like to volunteer for Re-engage you can get in touch and find more information on the website, or call; 0207 240 0630.

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