We have created this program for young adults & teenagers, to help this generation which is also highly impacted by loneliness. The Silver Angels will provide practical and emotional support to the seniors for the Silver Club gatherings; Accompanying them to and from the venue, supporting when needed and sharing real human kindness and understanding. Meanwhile they will also be able to help the awareness campaign with their outreach and future surveys. The goal is that with these responsibilities and the intergenerational relationship, the young adults will feel connected and purposeful, making the program mutually benificial for all generations involved.
There is a strong stigma attached to loneliness which limits
the potential for individuals to ask for help or reveal that they need it.
Without explicit targeting, loneliness initiatives will only serve people with a more naturally outgoing nature and those who may be more able to support themselves. Therefore Silver Angels is an important step to ensure that our services are proactively offered to those most likely to be affected by loneliness, rather than simply being made universally available. The volunteers that are part of Silver Angels will visit the seniors where they are most likely to be reached and will connect with them via word-of-mouth in their local communities.
Experts in the field have highlighted the importance of provision of services to support seniors through the process of reconnecting with their wider communities. Hereby also recognising the damaging effect loneliness can have on individual’s confidence and the importance of fear in limiting individuals willingness to engage.
One must link lonely individuals with a trusted ‘buddy’ / Silver Angel, with whom they are able to develop a relationship and who offers practical and emotional support to the individual.
This approach has been reviewed
for their effectiveness in tackling loneliness,
and have been shown to have positive effects, according to
the UK campaign to end loneliness.
(LR Age UK ID202422 Policy Review Update.pdf (campaigntoendloneliness.org)