‘Better Together’ is our new campaign to raise awareness of the impact of loneliness to our tenants, staff and stakeholders. The campaign, led by our Tenancy Support team, will run from 27 November-1 December 2017.
Better Together is being launched in the run-up to Christmas – a time when many people, regardless of age or situation, can feel alone and isolated – but will continue throughout 2018.
The campaign will highlight the wide range of services, events and activities available in our local communities that can help tenants make new connections, find support networks and meet new friends.
Loneliness is as big a health risk as smoking and obesity. It can harm your health, physically and mentally. It can also increase your risk of premature death by 30%
During ‘Better Together’ week, our Tenancy Support team will:
- visit tenants in some of our more rural schemes, such as in the Forest Heath area and north Norfolk
- hold drop-in sessions at Broadland area offices, offering tenants and staff the chance to learn how to Skype and FaceTime to keep in touch with friends and family
- host Christmas craft activities at St Katherine’s Court, King’s Lynn, bringing older residents together with local Brownies
- raise awareness of the issue of loneliness on our social media pages and internally to Broadland staff
- place foodbank collection boxes in our area offices to help those in need this Christmas
- support the Salvation Army’s Toys and Tins Appeal in Norfolk
Going forward, Broadland will be working closely with Norfolk County Council, supporting its award-winning In Good Company initiative.
Alison Thomas, Deputy Leader of Norfolk County Council said: “People who are lonely are more likely to suffer ill health, more likely to be reliant on public services and more likely to lose their independence. Recent research* also suggests that loneliness is a particular challenge in Norfolk.
“In Good Company is designed to combat loneliness by galvanising individuals and organisations to do as much as they can to ensure no one spends a lonely day in Norfolk if they don’t want to.
“We know that there are many organisations and businesses that are working hard to tackle this problem across Norfolk, so we’re delighted that Broadland is reaching out to its tenants and communities to do just this through its Better Together campaign.”
Charity sleep out
A group of Broadland staff will also be taking part in the Benjamin Foundation Sleep Out on 17 November. The event is to raise money and awareness of the ever-increasing issue of youth homelessness.
“This issue links strongly into our Better Together campaign,” explains Kevin Gee, Tenancy Support Manager (pictured, far right), who is one of the team sleeping out on 17 November. “Homelessness can often be a very lonely, isolating and traumatic experience, which can have a major effect on somebody’s mental health.
“The event is not meant to replicate the hardship faced by those who are homeless. However, it will highlight the difficult challenges of sleeping outside in the elements.”
UPDATE: The Broadland team, which included Kevin Gee, Jess Kent, Daniel Nolan, Sarah Cook (pictured above) and Sophie Wiles, doubled their fundraising target, raising more than £1,000 for the Benjamin Foundation. The team’s fundraising link is http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Broadland63.
*Research by the Campaign to End Loneliness and London School of Economics