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Ready Friends News
Hi all, I hope you and your loved ones are all keeping safe and well. Welcome to your regular Ready Friends update.
 

Befriending Forum 24 September 1-2.30 

If you’re lonely, you need to know that wellbeing activities are happening to join in, but what if you don’t speak English or get online?  Join Reading Community Learning Centre, RVA’s Information and Communications officer and others to find out how to improve access for local people, at 1pm on 24 September.  Please click here to book on this free event: 
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ready-friends-befriending-forum-tickets-116570153467

In the meantime, check out these Covid-19 related translated materials which may be helpful to your clients, family, neighbours and friends: 
https://www.reading.gov.uk/coronavirus-translations
 
POP (Printed on Paper)  survey
I have a favour to ask.  We're running a survey on the value of printing information on paper and I'd like to invite you to grab a cuppa and fill it in in the next week or so - or right now!  
 
Do you still see value in printing booklets, guides, leaflets, reports and promotional postcards? Should we still be putting effort into printing and distributing things on paper, as an essential way of reaching service-users without internet access?  Or should the effort be going into reducing the digital divide so that everyone can access the information they need online? Has the pandemic changed the way you think about printed materials versus online information? We'd love to know your thoughts. The results will be collated and discussed at the Befriending Forum on 24 September. And if you add your address in the survey, we'll send you a postcard to say thank you for participating in the survey! 
 
Here's the link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/printedonpaper 
 

Take care support for ourselves and others

Action for Happiness webinar

Could living more generously bring us greater fulfillment, inspire others and help create a happier world for everyone?  Join speaker Nipun Mehta at the next Action for Happiness free online event at 7pm on Wednesday 9 September  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/generous-happiness-with-nipun-mehta-tickets-116194895059
 
Local support for individuals and families
Just a reminder about RVA’s resources page for individuals and families that gets updated regularly: Coronavirus Community Action
 
Funding

RVA Funding pages

We've reorganised the funding pages on the RVA website to make it easier for you to get to the information you need.  Go to the funding pages to see more, including rolling funding rounds. http://rva.org.uk/funding/
 

Training and best-practice updates

After months of disconnection, it’s time to re-connect.

From 21st - 29th September 2020, The Loneliness Lab is hosting Design to Connect Community Learn-in, a series of virtual workshops bringing together place makers, policymakers, and people passionate about tackling loneliness. Together our community will:

  • Connect with others working on this agenda so that you can collaborate now and in the future.
  • Learn from one another about what’s driving loneliness in our cities and share ideas to design connection into the places we live, work and play.
  • Take action and identify opportunities for change so that we can build back better, together.
For more information and to book up, click here  https://lonelinesslab.org/design-to-connect
 
Research & Surveys
The Psychology of Loneliness
Loneliness is an emotional response that many people are familiar with. Understanding how psychological approaches can help ease feelings of loneliness and shape our response can help us improve support for older people who are lonely.  To read this fascinating and groundbreaking report click here https://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/wp-content/uploads/Psychology_of_Loneliness_FINAL_REPORT.pdf  and to watch the webinar launch click here  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEmQDDXVXno

Intergenerational projects
InCommon have published their annual impact report, summarising the impact of InCommon’s intergenerational programmes over the past 11 months. The benefits described in the report range from building more connected communities, to enabling primary school children to grow in confidence, and creating opportunities for older volunteers to feel valued. You can read the report here: 
 https://www.incommonliving.com/ic-news/2020/8/17/impact-report-201920

A Year in our Lives - telling our stories
How has the pandemic affected your mental health? ‘A Year in Our Lives’ is a project from the Centre for Mental Health that will gather and share the first-hand experiences of people living through the pandemic to find out how it is affecting people’s emotional and mental health. To do that, they need your stories. Whether you have had a mental health difficulty before or not, whatever age you are, wherever you are from, let them know how coronavirus and the sudden changes to our lives have affected your mental health, using this question as a starting point: How has your emotional and mental health been affected by the coronavirus pandemic? Find out more and get involved at https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/year-our-lives-2020


The impact of your local shops in reducing loneliness during Covid-19

The ACS (Association of Convenience Stores) Community Barometer looks at which services the public want (and don’t want) around them, as well as how essential those services are, the impact they have on reducing loneliness, and whether those services overall have a positive impact on where they live. The 2019 Community Barometer has revealed that the number one most essential service, and the service that people believe has the most positive impact on their local area is the Post Office, followed by convenience stores (2nd) and coffee shops/cafes (3rd). Elsewhere in the research, coffee shops, pubs and convenience stores were seen as the three services that play the most important role in reducing loneliness for people in a local area due to the social nature of those businesses.
https://www.acs.org.uk/sites/default/files/cb19.pdf 
 

 

Resources and ideas for befrienders and their befriendees

Here for you: volunteer telephone support for people affected by stroke
The Stroke Association wants to be there for people affected by stroke who are feeling isolated and alone in their stroke recovery.

Many people will be feeling this way during the current pandemic, and they need your support to help more people across the UK. Their Here for You service connects survivors and volunteers to help combat isolation and offer peer support. https://www.stroke.org.uk/webform/volunteer-telephone-support-people-affected-stroke

Articles Webinars & Podcasts

The Guardian, Hilary Cottam: ‘The desire to connect will remake the welfare state’
The new forms of support that mushroomed during lockdown showed that taking care of each other can change lives
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/aug/14/hilary-cottam-the-desire-to-connect-will-remake-the-welfare-state?CMP=share_btn_tw


The Guardian, Ruby Wax: ‘I felt I had no community – so I started one’
Before the virus, we were already highly stressed by a sense of isolation. Social media’s images of perfect people having the time of their lives don’t help, making us feel that heart-plunging dip in self-esteem.Frazzled Cafe aims to help those who feel overwhelmed. Since moving to Zoom, we’ve been flooded with people who want to talk.
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/aug/16/ruby-wax-i-felt-i-had-no-community-so-i-started-one

What Works Wellbeing, The Wellbeing Costs of Physical Distancing 
From helping babies develop healthily; to its vital role in end-of-life care; and our need for touch throughout our lives: physical contact is a basic necessity. So how much has physical distancing cost the wellbeing of the British population each month? https://whatworkswellbeing.org/blog/the-wellbeing-costs-of-physical-distancing/?mc_cid=62c1f93391&mc_eid=9114fdf785

Take care, everyone, Rhiannon
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