Small Acts of Kindness
Small Acts of Kindness source and distribute practical gifts that reduce the negative impact of loneliness and isolation on the physical and mental well-being of older people particularly those who are cold in their homes. They engage local people to create opportunities for these gifts to be the catalyst for building new social connections within communities thus reducing the leading factor that leads to feelings of loneliness and isolation. This winter, 2018, they are aiming to distribute 5,000 gift bags. Together with Hertfordshire LPC they have produced a flyer promoting the services and benefits of community pharmacy which will be included in each gift bag.
Research shows that one in five older people spend the day alone.
1,154,800 people live in Hertfordshire and more than 248,000 are over 60
This means that today, in Hertfordshire over 49,000 older people could be spending the day alone. The percentage of the Hertfordshire population aged 65 and over (173,915 2011 census) is predicted to rise dramatically, showing an increase of more than 50% over 20 years. Loneliness and social isolation are harmful to our health: research shows that lacking social connections is as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Finding ways to prevent and alleviate loneliness and social isolation are vital. They enable older people to remain as independent and healthy as possible and can change people’s lives.
Their work is made possible by the generosity and support of their amazing partners and funders including statutory organisations, trusts and foundations, businesses, County and local councillors and individuals.
A Small Acts of Kindness Warm in Winter gift bag contains essential, practical, keep warm items – a fleece blanket, thermal hat, gloves and socks and a mug and a pack of hot drinks and soup all packed in a reusable tote bag.
Gift bags also contain an information pack with details of local activities and services.
Gift bags are distributed free of charge to local older people aged over 55 in Hertfordshire, many of whom face the almost unimaginable choice between heating their homes and eating – helping to break the cycle that loneliness and isolation can bring
Warm in Winter gift bags are an early stage intervention that can help reduce the risks that older people face when they are cold. For some older people, they could be a life saver.
Community pharmacies in Hertfordshire can get involved by referring Hertfordshire patients over 55 to the service. Any pharmacies who would be happy to have a small stock of Warm in Winter gift bags who would like to keep some to give to customers they feel are in need please call 01923 372717 or email them on firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information here is their website.