"51% of all people aged over 75 live alone"ONS
"51% of all people aged over 75 live alone"ONS

Caistor Cares was established by a group of volunteers, following a public meeting in January 2016. At that meeting concerns were raised about increasing levels of social isolation throughout the UK, especially in rural areas, with Age UK stating that “there are over one million people in the UK that haven’t spoken to anyone for over one month”.

A committee was created, and we now work in close association with Friendship at Home, a charity offering the same service to over 300 people in North East Lincolnshire. Friendship at Home has been very helpful in guiding us to ensure that our service is safe, trusted and professional. Every month our volunteers meet, with training being provided in areas such as Safeguarding, First Aid and Dementia Awareness. Age UK (the UK’s largest charity working with older people) are now referring Members to us in our designated area.

Caistor Cares' primary focus is our Befriending Service. Our coordinator meets all potential members and also our volunteers, and takes great care to match people with interests or circumstances in common, that will enable their friendship to strengthen and grow.

To ensure everyone's safety and security, all volunteers are interviewed, with references and a Police check made, and trained before any introductions are made.

The Caistor Cares committee is keen to make a positive impact on social isolation, and it is our intention that our Befriending Service is the first of many schemes to be developed in the future. We are also planning to increase our area of operation, so that we can offer our services further afield.