Linking Lives UK
There are 1.8 million people over 75 in the UK who are profoundly lonely. Linking Lives UK is working with churches and Christian agencies to set up befriending schemes along with social events and activities which have a significant impact on the lives of all who take part.
We work primarily with churches and Christian agencies and provide the support, advice and resources required to set up a project in local communities. We plan to establish at least twelve new projects per year across the UK within the next three years. We were delighted to be nominated by Cinnamon Network for an award at the 2016 Christian Funders Forum Awards event in Lambeth Palace, and we received the Silver Award in our category of ‘Best Replicable Project’.
Information for volunteers
Volunteers call their friend on a regular basis and when restrictions allow they can also take their friend on occasional outings and other social events and activities may also be arranged regularly by the local scheme. These visits often become a highlight of the week for all involved and result in huge benefits to health and wellbeing.
We are able to provide a comprehensive and practical toolkit for churches looking to set up such a project which is based on a successful tried and tested approach. This includes access to training, guidance in establishing a scheme appropriate to local circumstances, operational template documents and ongoing support and updated resources once set up. On a local level, we encourage our partners to build links with key organisations in the community as a source of referrals and also to avoid duplication of effort.
Our aim is to significantly improve quality of life for as many isolated people as we can by developing new schemes year on year. Using professional, and yet informal systems and processes in a way which is safe for both clients and volunteers, local schemes also become well established in the wider life of the local community.