Embracing Age was founded in 2015 in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames to support older people in our community.
Under our Care Home Friends project, we recruit and train volunteers to offer friendship and support older residents in care homes. Research suggests that older people in care homes are twice as likely to feel lonely as older people living in the community.
We have over 60 volunteers across all the care homes in the London Borough of Richmond, and have started to expand these projects nationally, including another large project across the Isle of Wight, where there are about 70 care homes. We aim to have Care Home Friends projects running in 30 locations across the UK by 2024.
Covid restrictions have meant that visiting has been unable to take place so we have been supporting care homes in other ways, including:
Providing essential PPE for care homes
Helping residents and their loved ones stay connected using android tablets and Alexa devices
Thanking and supporting care home staff through Kindness to Care Staff
Sensory Knitted Aquariums to spark joy for residents
Bringing smiles by writing monthly Cards of Kindness to residents
Organising Christmas gift boxes for residents with no family
Flower Bouquets assembled by volunteers and delivered weekly to care homes
A care home manager recently thanked us for this support, saying "Thank you all for all the hard work you do in making people feel that their lives matter."
In January 2021 we started Carers Connected to support informal carers who have been increasingly isolated by the pandemic lockdown. Carers come together in a weekly zoom meeting to give mutual support and encouragement, and are offered an opportunity to pray together. One carer told us the sessions are “helping me to cope and find me again”.
We are a Christian organisation that welcomes people of all faiths and none.