A charity in north Leeds is urging local residents to ‘Know Your Neighbour’ in a new bid to reduce social isolation.
MAECare - Moor Allerton Elderly Care - has launched a new scheme to encourage the community to look out for elderly neighbours to help combat loneliness.
The charity, which works with people over the age of 60 in the Moor Allerton, Shadwell and North Moortown area, is on the hunt for volunteer ‘Neighbourhood Connectors’ to help keep a friendly eye on older people.
Manager Carol Burns said: “We’re not looking for people who will be nosey neighbours but people who will be concerned neighbours. If you have elderly people living nearby, it is better to be overly concerned and to ensure that everything is OK. Not everyone has friends and family living nearby.
“For some older neighbours, just to have someone who will offer up a friendly smile and take time to pass the time of day can have a great effect on their feeling of wellbeing, and yours.
“Simple tasks such as offering to take the bins down on collection days or offering to post a letter or offering to accompany them to an activity can make all the difference to someone’s life. And Neighbourhood Connectors can also look out for cues that their neighbours might be in need of help.”
The charity has chosen this time of year to launch the ‘Know Your Neighbour’ scheme as every winter, 25,000 older people in England and Wales to not survive the bitter weather - an average of 206 deaths a day.
MAECare has a selection of thermal underwear and sleepwear for elderly residents to buy and they can also be signposted to advice and help on keeping out the cold. To become involved in the ‘Know Your Neighbour’ campaign, contact the MAECare office at 57 Cranmer Bank, LS17 5JD or call MAECare on 0113 266 0371.