Eastbourne is a wonderful town to retire to and we are very lucky to have the Downs, the beautiful countryside, the sea and the gentile peace and quiet. However, loneliness can affect us all and the statistics about older people and loneliness are frightening. If approximately 10% of the population aged over 65 is chronically lonely, this equates to over 860,000 people in England. Luckily there are lots of great services in Eastbourne there for you:
1. Age Concern Eastbourne has two brilliant services: Befriending offers a regular visitor to give friendship and support to isolated older people who are unable to leave their home. Forget-me-not is a telephone befriending service that provides a regular contact call to brighten the day of an isolated older person. Contact 01323 749034.
2. Join Contact The Elderly Eastbourne. This charity aims to relieve the acute loneliness of isolated people aged over 75 who live alone. It organises free monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for small groups of older people. Each elderly guest is collected from their home by a volunteer driver and is taken to a volunteer host’s home where they join a small group for tea, talk and companionship.
3. The Silver Line is the only free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Call ANYTIME on: 0800 4 70 80 90
4. A hidden gem The Under Ground Theatre is a warm and intimate performance space situated beneath the Central Library, Eastbourne. Hosting a wide variety of events from music, art, jazz, Saturday morning music and a coffee shop.
5. The Campaign to End Loneliness offers lots of great advice and resources too
6. Eastbourne Seniors Forum gives a collective voice to the over 50s of Eastbourne, helping them to influence decision-makers on issues which impact their everyday lives. ESF holds events, either for the Forum as a whole, or for a specific Focus Group. The Forum also participates in events held by other seniors groups or outside agencies.
7. When They Get Older is an excellent useful and independent site for anyone with ageing and elderly family and friends and they have a fab guide on loneliness: www.whentheygetolder.co.uk/helping-your-parents-to-overcome-loneliness/
8. Sussex Helping Angels can be your companion at home and out and about, as well as visiting you in hospital or in residential care. They can organise and accompany you on trips to exhibitions, cinema, the theatre and local community events. They can take share day trips, visit friends and family and browse around the shops.
9. Eastbourne is a fantastic town with a wide range of activities. Have you thought about joining the Eastbourne Film Society? It is at the Curzon Cinema, Langney Road, Eastbourne from September to March showing a wide variety of films, many of foreign origin with subtitles.
10. And don’t forget about Eastbourne indoor bowls, a great way to stay fit and meet people!
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