After weeks of isolation due to the global pandemic many people, particularly the elderly, are falling prey to loneliness.
Young people from Portsmouth were keen to help tackle this issue by making sure people in their community had not been forgotten.
A group of 11 teenagers have taken part in ‘Keep Doing Good’ with Pompey in the Community. The programme is part of the National Citizen Service’s (NCS) ‘One Million Hours of Doing Good’, a wider pledge to enable teens to take an active role in helping the country recover post COVID-19.
Following a week of community exploration and understanding the issues in their local community better, the group set their sights on supporting elderly people in their community.
Sarah Musson, 16, from Portsmouth said;
“The team realised the importance of helping elderly people and the issues of isolation. We wanted to make sure that people were not being forgotten and are supported during this time.”
Partnering with the EFL Trust’s ‘Tackling Loneliness Together Project’ at Pompey in the Community, the team got to work preparing care packages. Thanks to a grant of £810,000 from the Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), Pompey are part of 32 EFL Club Community Organisations who are tackling loneliness among older people.
The team put an appeal on social media as well as contacting local Supermarkets and managed to procure hand sanitiser, chocolates, puzzle and Sudoku magazines, tissues, hand cream and books. The team also put together ‘Happy letters’ to include in the packages, as well as a COVID-19 guide to help them with all key information they now needed to know.
Marilyn Bishop was lucky enough to receive one of the care packages and she was desperate to share her thanks with the young people. The video shows a young person reading out the letter sent by Marilyn and captures the moment she met the young people.
Here is what she said:
“We just want to thank you so much for our care packages, it was such a surprise and very much appreciated – not just for the lovely, generous contents but for the way in which they were presented, so much care. The ‘icing on the cake’ was the letters that you included – so very thoughtful and caring. Meeting you albeit briefly was a pleasure. You are all a credit to your school and the NCS and Pompey in the Community which is run brilliantly.”
This summer, thousands of young people through Keep Doing Good will be tackling Loneliness in their local community by picking up the phone to them sending them letter or care package like this group from Portsmouth.
Sarah, 16, has reflected on her time Keep Doing Good, saying;
“Keep Doing Good has been one of the best experiences of my life. Seeing the impact I’ve had on other people and seeing how big of an impact it has made on me as a person has really changed the way I see myself and the world. It’s been the best 2 weeks of my life and has made a significant impact on me as well as helping those in need in the community.”