We are stepping up our support for a charity campaign for people each lunchtime to open their windows and shout ‘hello’ to their neighbours.
We’re continuing to back the initiative to raise awareness of those who remain at home and may be lonely.
We provide an invaluable lifeline to the people we visit each day to help them with their medical, emotional and physical care. Before the Coronavirus, our frontline teams also assisted many of our service users with trips out, now they are, very sensibly, all remaining safely at home until the danger has passed. But in the meantime, for many of those we visit, we know they are feeling lonelier and more vulnerable than ever.
We saw Communicare in Southampton’s idea on social media in April and thought it would help cheer-up our service users, who are understandably not feeling as jolly as normal and are worried. Communicare is a charity, helping the isolated and lonely, and although it is based in Southampton, it is promoting its campaign nationwide.
Each lunchtime, they’re asking anyone who is at home, regardless of whether they are vulnerable and elderly, to shout ‘cooee’ or ‘hello’, or any form of friendly greeting, from an open window or over the garden fence, wall or hedge at a safe social distance to their next door neighbours.
Even if they can’t see them or their windows aren’t open, they hope enough people will do this at 12noon nationwide every day to help those who are housebound at the moment realise they are not alone. We think this is a great idea, not just for our service users but also for anyone at home in these uncertain times, who might like to hear a cheery voice.
Communicare in Southampton is a friendly, neighbourhood charity that wants to eradicate loneliness and isolation in the city with the assistance of its band of Communiteers, who volunteer to give their time freely.
Manager at Communicare, Annie Clewlow, says: “Many people, not just the elderly, are struggling as they are missing out on the socialisation, they would normally have whether through clubs, exercise groups or work.
“In April, we launched the hashtag #Cooee and asked people through our social media channels to shout this, or any form of friendly greeting, from an open window or over the garden fence, wall or hedge, at a safe social distance, to their next door neighbours. Even if they can’t see them, or their windows aren’t open, we hope enough people will continue to do this at 12noon nationwide, every day, to help those who are housebound realise they are not alone.
“This is an all ages campaign and we hope everyone can get involved. A recently released Office for National Statistics Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, April 3 to May 3, about lockdown loneliness found, of those asked, 30.9%, 7.4 million adults, reported their well-being had been affected through feeling lonely. Working-age adults living alone were more likely to report loneliness, so we’d like to encourage anyone who is at home during the day, for whatever reason, to join in with #Cooee.”