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Carers hope we’ll keep saying ‘hello’ to our neighbours this winter

Published: 22nd December 2020 12:40


A SOUTH Devon home care provider is stepping up its support for a charity campaign for people each lunchtime to open their windows and shout ‘hello’ to their neighbours (December 2020).

Guardian Homecare, which operates in the Torbay and Exeter areas, says it’s continuing to back the initiative throughout winter when elderly and vulnerable people could be feeling at their lowest.

Manager, Catherine Porter, who is based at its Drew Street branch in Brixham, explains: “We provide an invaluable lifeline to the people we visit each day to help them with their medical, emotional and physical care. Before the Coronavirus, our frontline teams also assisted many of our service users with trips out. Now they are, very sensibly, all remaining safely at home until the danger has passed. But in the meantime, for many of those we visit, we know they are feeling lonelier and more vulnerable than ever, especially over the festive period.

“We saw Communicare in Southampton’s idea on social media earlier in the year and thought it would help cheer-up our service users, who are understandably not feeling as jolly as normal and are worried. Communicare is a charity, helping the isolated and lonely, and although it is based in Southampton, it is promoting its campaign nationwide.

“Each lunchtime, they’re asking anyone who is at home, regardless of whether they are vulnerable and elderly, to shout ‘cooee’ or ‘hello’, or any form of friendly greeting, from an open window or over the garden fence, wall or hedge, at a safe social distance, to their next door neighbours. Obviously, we don’t want people to get cold so wrap up warm before doing so.

“We hope enough people will do this at 12noon in south Devon and nationwide every day to help those who are housebound at the moment realise they are not alone. We think this is a great idea, not just for our service users but also for anyone at home in these uncertain times, who might like to hear a cheery voice.”

Guardian Homecare, which has teams operating in Torbay and Exeter, delivers personalised home care supporting people wishing to stay living safely and comfortably in their own homes in south Devon.

Its care is helping to look after some of those in the highest risk and most vulnerable categories and it is also assisting with protecting the NHS by keeping people safely at home and away from hospitals.

Communicare in Southampton is a friendly, neighbourhood charity that wants to eradicate loneliness and isolation in the city with the assistance of its band of Communiteers, who volunteer to give their time freely.

Manager at Communicare, Annie Clewlow, who comes from Devon and has family in the county, says: “Many people, not just the elderly, are struggling as they are missing out on the socialisation they would normally have whether through clubs, exercise groups or work.

“Earlier in the year, we launched the hashtag #Cooee and asked people through our social media channels to shout this, or any form of friendly greeting, from an open window or over the garden fence, wall or hedge, at a safe social distance, to their next-door neighbours.

“We’d love to see this continue through the winter. Even if they can’t see their neighbours, or their windows aren’t open, we hope enough people will continue to do this at 12noon nationwide, every day, to help those who are housebound realise they are not alone.”

Anyone wishing to help the elderly and vulnerable in south Devon, can sign-up be a home carer with Guardian Homecare by calling 01803 853198 or visiting www.guardianhomecare.co.uk or https://www.facebook.com/GuardianHomecareUK/jobs/.

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