Tim’s Blog: Mums and Children Need Homes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARecently I was very touched to hear from a Cambridge Women’s Aid staff member.

Women’s Aid Refuges were the first organisations we partnered with, giving TVs and radios that help many people passing in and out of the refuges. Families who’ve suffered domestic abuse are terribly lonely and isolated, through no fault of their own. As Annie at Cambridge Women’s Aid says, “All of the families living in refuge have had to leave their support networks to come far away to be safe, and start again in a new part of the country where they do not know a single person.

“While in refuge our families are at a terrible disadvantage. Due to safety reasons, the children cannot invite new friends over from school or tell them the truth about their living situation. Mums tend not to make friends outside of the refuge as it is too difficult to share their “back story”. These factors isolate our families.” Continue reading…


Tim’s Blog: Thank You

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt the festive season, it’s easy to forget that lonely people don’t get a ‘day off’ from their isolation on Christmas Day to go and see loving family. Their situations are just as tough as ever. I hope that this Christmas, our beneficiaries get some comfort and companionship from their TVs and radios.

And over the last few months we’ve had some really lovely messages of thanks.

We’re hearing from many partners, from homelessness shelters to mental health drop-in centres, who are really glad to help their clients with a TV. Continue reading…


Tim’s Blog: Visit to Herring House

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARecently, Janet and I visited Herring House, an inspirational homelessness centre in Great Yarmouth. We were visiting to donate four small TVs and a communal radio to the High Support Unit attached to the main hostel.

Herring House is a charity set up by CAB volunteers in 1991 to help people in the Great Yarmouth area who are dealing with homelessness. We were greeted on arrival by the beautiful mosaic of a herring created during an art project some 15 years before, and still serving as a sign of support and welcome to the area’s community.

The hostel has 27 people in residence, all with different health and often substance abuse needs. Centre worker Sue told us that, although drug and alcohol use are not permitted within the hostel, people wanting to detox completely found it difficult to do while living in an environment with people who were not abstinent. However, they didn’t want to lose connections which were often their only form of supportive social network. Continue reading…


Welcome, Ambassadors!

We Have News!

We at Wavelength have some really exciting news to share today.

To mark ourKersty pupy 75th anniversary, we’ve welcomed four celebrity Ambassadors to the fold: YES keyboard legend Rick Wakeman, Miss UK Kirsty Rose Heslewood, and much-loved comedians Miki Travis and Freddie ‘Parrot Face’ Davies.

Our Ambassadors will help to spread the word about WaveLength, act as inspiration for our beneficiaries and supporters, and amplify the voices of our beneficiaries – both among people who need WaveLength’s help but haven’t heard of us yet, and among potential donors. Continue reading…


WaveLength and Passage: Hudl Training Session

Helping formerly homeless people to get to grips with their new Hudl tablet computers, in our latest partnership with Passage in Westminster. We’re proud to support Passage’s ‘Home for Good’ scheme, which helps formerly homeless people settle into their new homes and tackle the isolation of changing circumstances.


Tim’s Blog: Orchid Friendship Group Video

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Since we’ve been running more projects in partnership with other charities and organisations, WaveLength’s equipment helps a huge and diverse variety of people. I like to get out and about to see some of the really amazing effects that our equipment is having up and down the country, and to meet the people we’re working with face to face.

“Recently I visited Ollerton in rural Nottinghamshire, to meet Lis and her Orchid Friendship group, which gives older people living in isolation the chance to make friends. They are picked up from all over the former mining villages in North Nottinghamshire, and come together on a weekly basis to make crafts, have a chat. Now that they have equipment from WaveLength, they can watch a DVD together, catch up on current affairs, or reminisce over old programmes too.

“We’re also supplying the Orchid Friendship Group with Hudl tablets. Lis thinks these will have an enormous effect on lonely older people. They may even help people to stay in their homes, due to online shopping and emergency contact help. Plus, technology like video messaging lets them stay in touch with family and friends living too far off to visit. The video below shows how the Group works and how much people love it, including one lady who sits with her coat on for an hour before her taxi comes just so she’s ready to go!”

“We’d really love to bring our equipment, especially the new tablet computers, to more and more groups of isolated people as well as individuals. If you’d like to help us out, take a look at our other YouTube videos, follow us on Twitter, or make a donation of any size through MyDonate. Thank you, for helping us help more.


Orchid Friendship Group & St Anne’s Hostel

stmungos_desCompanionship for older people in rural Nottinghamshire and for older homeless men in St Anne’s, Birmingham – the only Midlands hostel to accept dogs!

Recently we’ve heard some lovely things about the equipment we provide, and we’d like to share it with our supporters.

The Orchid Friendship Group in Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, represents a range of isolated people from ex-mining villages. For many the weekly group is the only time they get out of the house for the social contact they desperately need for health and wellbeing.

Continue reading…


WaveLength Ambassadors Speak Out Against Loneliness

Our lovely Ambassadors are hard at work representing WaveLength to the public. Here, they tell you why they chose us.

“Working in radio, I realise how many people rely on their radio for company, Radio presenters all over the world receive thousands of letters every day from people stating that fact. I am proud to be an ambassador for Wavelength.’Rick Wakeman, YES keyboardist, “Grumpy Old Man” and radio presenter

Kersty pupy‘I decided to become an Ambassador for Wavelength because in this day and age, we can forget that some people still do not have the TVs and radios that most of us take for granted. After reading some letters of thanks from the people helped by Wavelength, I know that without their TVs and radios some are housebound in silence which is not a healthy way to live. Loneliness is cruel and can lead to depression, and bringing TV and radio into homes helps massively with loneliness and mental health. When I was suffering myself with Selective Mutism as a child, I could be in a crowded classroom but still felt lonely. The need to get home to speak was extremely important to me. People should feel most comfortable and happy in their own homes. Wavelength strives to bring that comfort and peace of mind to everyone.’ Kirsty Rose Heslewood, Reigning Miss UK Continue reading…


Tim’s Blog: Our First Tablet Project

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Last week, we paid a very special visit to Westminster. Deirdre, Colette and I were there to help eight former Passage clients get to grips with their brand new Hudl tablets. The clients, who are all formerly homeless and setting into new tenancies across London, received the tablets as part of our first ever project designed to provide computer technology rather than TVs and radios.

“Passage’s Employment, Training and Welfare Rights Manager, Richard Wealleans, led the new tablet users through the process of setting up and using the Android tablets. He covered everything from creating an email address to finding good free apps and widgets. The attendees had amazingly diverse experience – some new to computers, others already using smartphones, while one young man planned to use complex IT skills to ‘jailbreak’ his tablet as soon as he got home! Continue reading…


Passage Training Session

Members of the Passage’s Sunday Lunch club learn how to use their new WaveLength-provided Hudls. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lighting up lonely lives in St Anne’s Hostel

We were chuffed today to receive a lovely picture of Simon at St Anne’s hostel, enjoying his new radio. St Anne’s provides accommodation and support for homeless men over 25 – a neglected demographic – and is the only homelessness hostel in Birmingham which accepts dogs!

simonstannes

We sent them a 32 inch TV for a communal area back in April, and in June sent along five radios for individuals’ rooms as well.

Here is a pic of Simon enjoying his new radio. As you can see, he doesn’t have a lot of possessions. It can be tough to make a hostel room feel like home, so we’re really glad that the new radio is helping Simon to settle in and feel less lonely. Mark from St Anne’s says Simon has ‘benefited greatly from his radio’.

Want to help people like Simon turn new pages in their lives? Find out more…


Radio Academy Podcast Gallery

Tim talked with Radio Academy’s Paul Robinson, and two homelessness outreach workers who give out WaveLength radios, about the difference this equipment can make to people struggling to make changes in their lives.

 

 

 

 

 


Feedback: Step Up and Home for Good

One of the great things about our organisational projects is the way that they give us a glimpse into the schemes being carried out up and down the country to bring comfort and companionship to lonely people.

passage-home-for-goodWaveLength helps such diverse groups of people, it’s hard to keep track of them all. But often, other organisations send us reminders of the difference that our TVs and radios make.

Step Up, run by ASCEND in Hertfordshire, helps people with poor mental health to avoid the poverty trap. We gave them 5 TVs and 6 radios. Christine, Project Director, says:

“I’ve had the radios delivered this afternoon and I’ve already given one away.

“The person I gave it to is from Kosovo and they had to flee to this country at the time of the crisis. They have worked so hard since coming to this country, husband working, eldest son going to university but life still tends to kick them in the teeth. The husband recently lost his job due to ill health and they are now back living on benefits with very little money. She is over the moon with the radio.

“Thank you so much for coming to us with this amazing project.” Continue reading…


Feedback: Orchid Friendship Group and St Anne’s Hostel

Companionship for older people in rural Nottinghamshire and for older homeless men in St Anne’s, Birmingham – the only Midlands hostel to accept dogs!

Recently we’ve heard some lovely things about the equipment we provide, and we’d like to share it with out supporters.

The Orchid Friendship Group in Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, represents a range of isolated people from ex-mining villages. For many the weekly group is the only time they get out of the house for the social contact they desperately need for health and wellbeing.

Lis Lawrence, Director of Care + Comfort which runs the group, says, ‘The group are delighted that they will be able to watch television and some of their favourite films and DVD. This means so much to them.”

Meanwhile, St Anne’s Hostel in Birmingham let us know that our TV has provided a social hub for older residents of their single men’s homelessness refuge. These men enjoy having a place to socialise while watching programmes that don’t necessarily appeal to ‘youngsters.’

“Particularly the soaps!”

St Anne’s workers say the WaveLength TV “has brought a number of residents out of their rooms and enabled more communal cohesion between residents.”

The hostel supports men moving on to their own tenancies in the future. So they know how important it is, when changing a chaotic life, to engage with other people and move away from self-isolation.

We’d like to say to all WaveLength supporters – thank you so much, for helping us to help more people every day.


Feedback: “The difference this has made to my life is unbelievable”

We’ve recently received some very touching feedback. Two letters in particular we’d really like to share with you.

Cambridge Women’s Aid has provided a moving update on the families supported by our TVs and radios when they move from the refuge into their own accommodation, with very little to call their own.

Meanwhile, a gentleman who’s brought himself out of homelessness with the help of Together Working for Wellbeing got in touch to tell us what a difference our donors’ help has made.

Angie from Cambridge Women’s Aid says:

“Since we received your kind donation of several televisions, we have had two families resettle in our local area from the refuge who have benefited from this donation.  Family number one is a mum and three children and family number two is a mum and four children.

“Family One had been in refuge for just over eight months, and Family Two fir six and a half months.  Neither family had any possessions of their own and were very grateful to be supported by a television from WaveLength. They have both managed the transition from refuge to living in their own homes well.

“Now that Community Care Grants have gone, our families can only receive three household goods from the Local Authority when moving into their own home.  Many of our families have nothing to set up home with so rely greatly on donations to add to these three items to have any hope in moving on in their lives.  We are unable to pass on second-hand televisions so this donation is very much appreciated. Thank you for the support!

“Since then the televisions have continued to support families restarting their lives after being so unsettled due to violence and abuse. Four televisions have gone on to support four more families who were reliant on donations for their new homes. One family comprised a mother and a teenager who had been in refuge for four months. Another comprised a mother and two young children and had been in refuge for eleven months. The third comprised a mother and a young child who had been in refuge for four months, and family four comprised of a mother and two children and had been in refuge for nine months.

“The televisions were a source of great support to all of the families.  To date, the six televisions have helped six adults and thirteen children.”

These TVs are on long-term loan so that WaveLength can pass them on in the future. However, Angie told us,

“The majority of our families are destitute when they arrive at refuge and we are seeing more and more families dealing with significant debt issues.  Although we continue to support families to be independent when they have left refuge, they continue to deal with a number of pressures, which mean they are still in need of the support given by Wavelength. We have many more families who would truly benefit from this support when they leave refuge.”

We’re so incredibly proud to be part of these families’ journeys into independence. As you can see, there is still a great need for support, particularly with cuts to community care grants. Anything you can give could help us to make a difference to the lives of people suffering from isolation – just donate online or by cheque.

We also received a letter from a Together Working for Wellbeing service user:

“I would like to thank your charity for helping me in my time of great need. I suffer with Mental Health difficulties and have been homeless and bankrupt. I have received fantastic support from my Project Co-ordinator and now have a safe secure roof over my head. My biggest problem in settling in and trying to rebuild my life was feeling lonely and to make my new residence feel like home. With your help, I now have a television and radio, the difference this has made to my life is unbelievable. Knowing that people are willing to help and give me a chance to get back on my feet is also a positive start on the way back to health and happiness.”

We know that the impact of our help on beneficiaries, alongside the benefits from the actual TV and radios, includes the emotional support of knowing that people – WaveLength’s supporters and donors – care about them and think they deserve more. As we crowded around this letter in the office, we were really moved that this beneficiary decided to reach out.


Feedback from Nugent Care and Endike Community Care

Some really touching feedback landed in the WaveLength inbox today from two amazing organisations that we’ve supplied with TVs and radios. One case history, and some lovely photos, that inspired us and moved us.

Endike Community Care runs a day centre in Hull that aims to stop loneliness for elderly people. Social stimulation and regular contact can help to slow dementia and makes an enormous amount of difference to older people’s health and happiness.

endike3WaveLength provided them with a TV for day centre visitors to watch, and they sent us some lovely pictures of their users enjoying their new set!

Meanwhile, Rachel Moran from Nugent Care, which supports over 5,000 people across the North West, got in touch to let us know that ‘the TVs and radios have been a huge success’. WaveLength’s donations help them to help vulnerable adults through their Supported Living scheme in Liverpool.

Rachel told us about one man who our equipment really made a difference to…

“Mr X has a 25 year history of mental health issues, has been street homeless on a number of occasions and sectioned under the Mental Health Act in various locations across the country. Mr X had a breakdown in his early 20’s after leaving a cult.

“Mr X came to us through the Community Mental Health team in Liverpool, in July 13, on discharge from hospital. When he first moved into the scheme, Mr X was very withdrawn, anxious and found it difficult to communicate. He also had trust issues. Over the first few weeks we supported Mr X to settle into his accommodation and put routine and structure into his days whilst learning to trust myself, Rachel Moran and my colleague Peter Boylan.

“Mr X had not watched television or listened to a radio for a number of years as he believed that he was receiving messages through them, which would in turn effect his mental health and cause it to deteriorate and trigger a psychotic episode.

“After being in our project for a few weeks, Mr X reported that he felt settled and well enough to try to use a television and radio. When he received the radio and television from Wavelength, it took him a little time to adjust but eventually he got used to watching selected programmes and listing to the radio. He has actually started to find it both a distraction and a therapy for his mental health, and his psychiatrist has reported that he is the most stable he has been for a number of years and is engaging really well with his support.

“We were able to use the equipment you gifted us to help us engage with one of our most difficult and complex clients.”


Perth Association for Mental Health and Pictures from WaveLength’s History

Lovely Feedback from PAMH

We were really proud today to get some lovely feedback from a Scottish mental health association xanax online that we’ve supplied with a TV for its Recovery College. PAMH helps people with mental ill-health, their carers, families, friends and potential employers to learn how to manage and control their illness so that they can get the most out of their lives, relationships etc.

Jillian tells us, “We have already run several pilot courses where we have used the television for display purposes and this has been most beneficial to both participants and course deliverers. Staff are also using the television to practice delivery and view materials appropriate for use in sessions with clients. As we go forward, the television will be fully utilized in our work.

“This equipment has been monumental in helping us to develop and deliver courses within our service.”

It’s fantastic to know that just one piece of our equipment can make such a difference. Our new model of partnering with organisations means that our supporters’ donations are really maximized, bringing real support and progress to the most isolated people in our society.

Janet speaks to St Nicholas’ Ladies Club

Recently our Project Worker Janet gave a talk about WaveLength’s history and activities to St Nicholas’ Ladies Club, a church club near our Hornchurch offices. She told them all about WaveLength’s 75 years of fighting loneliness, and our self-funded model, which means that we depend on donations rather than support from the government or councils.

She also passed around some photos we found in the back of the office cupboards, which really touched a lot of people! A couple of these are below – for more, take a look at our Facebook page or Pinterest board.

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