Better Together!

By Maya Potter. This week’s Spotlight News is illuminating the inspiring work of a charity called, The Together Project. The Together Project’s mission is to bring people of different generations together, focusing on fun and friendship. Loneliness has been a frequently used word over the past 12 months, with the Covid-19 pandemic limiting our interaction and socialisation with family and friends, and is affecting more people than ever. Older people can be particularly vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation which can have a serious impact physical and mental health [1]. At the beginning of November 2020, 6.1 million people aged 60 and over said that they were feeling lonely [2]. Reducing loneliness and improving general wellbeing is at the heart of what The Together Project do and their activities are designed to tackle ageism and integrate communities. The intergenerational activities take place across the UK, bringing together people of different ages who may not normally meet, with a vision to encourage multi-age friendships across the nation. ‘Songs and Smiles’ is one of the activities run by The Together Project, bringing together pre-school children with care home and sheltered housing residents through weekly music sessions. Originally launching in London in 2017, the groups now run across the country, bringing joy and uniting hundreds of people. Due to Covid-19, these sessions have been unable to take place in person, however January 2021 saw the launch of ‘Virtual Songs and Smiles’ in 12 care homes across the UK, so the fun can continue safely. Another way people of different ages have connected over these difficult past months has been through the ‘Hand in Hand Together’ project. Children and care home residents have been getting creative and making handprint pictures to send to each other and sharing their stories. The activity has already linked over 400 people from multiple generations across the UK and beyond. It is clear that the work of The Together Project is valuable to so many. The activities are improving general wellbeing and creating positive connections, benefitting people both young and old. The Together Project are doing amazing work and their success proves that we are better when we are together (even if that means virtually for the time being)! Find out more: https://www.thetogetherproject.co.uk Sources [1] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/loneliness-in-older-people/ [2] https://www.ageuk.org.uk/latest-press/articles/2020/11/loneliest-christmas-yet/ We are all in this together!

Better Together!