At 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.
At the Adhar Project, Leicester, Asian people with mental health problems or learning difficulties are enjoying watching Hindi movies, therapeutic programmes and documentaries. Vijaya from the project says, “They feel privileged to have a big smart TV and watch within the group, where they feel comfortable and safe. It’s given carers a break too, when service users are occupied watching TV.”
Up in East Kilbride, Donna from BTHA, a housing service for people coming out of homelessness, says,“As the TVs will stay within the project it means that more tenants to come will have the opportunity to use them. This has made such a difference to people’s lives here, and I would like to say a really big thanks!”
A WaveLength TV is making a Mindwise drop-in centre for mental health support feel like home in Ballyclare.“They feel like they are at home coming to have a coffee and watch TV,” says Leanne. “Service users are now able to socialise while watching programmes with the same interests as others.”
Homelessness hostels can feel like challenging places for people coming off the streets, and in Bedford and Great Yarmouth, radios are really helping them to be comfortable.
In Great Yarmouth’s Herring House, the TVs have“helped our clients to escape the craziness of hostel life,” says Janet. “They have been important to our clients suffering from drug and alcohol withdrawal. It has helped them to have a quiet time www.healthcarewell.com/online-pharmacy/ when they most need it.”
“The radio has helped with improving the sense of community in the hostel,” says Chris from the Kings Arms Project. “It’s placed in the kitchen and so when residents are helping staff to prepare meals or are doing chores together it adds an extra element to the atmosphere. We’ve particularly see residents bond with one another over similar tastes in music, and occasionally seen residents and staff singing along to songs together.”
We’ve also heard a really touching story from our Storybook Dads project. A little boy aged three, who’s never really known his Dad, now recognises his voice and when he sees him, can join in with the rhymes Dad has recorded for him on the CD player WaveLength provided. He smiles whenever the CD starts to play!
Of course, it’s extra-special to hear beneficiaries’ thanks in their own words. “I was getting really quite depressed without being able to tune into a TV, what a difference it’s now made to me,” says a beneficiary in East Kilbride.
Meanwhile in Wales, homeless young people are enjoying the new TV in their drop-in centre, the Wrexham Young Persons’ Project. They say, “It’s mint! We can all sit around it and watch films together as a group.”
“The TV is never off in the project room, it’s really nice and makes it feel welcoming.”
“I even have it on in the background when I’m in the project room playing Monopoly.”
WaveLength still helps individuals too. Miss George (name changed) in London was referred to us by Independent Age. The lady who referred her says,“She is extremely grateful and happy as she said her days are so quiet and boring without a television. Many thanks for WaveLength for helping to improve daily life for one of our members.”
If you’d like to help us help more lonely and isolated people, take a look at our JustGiving page, which tells you just how your donations are working.