Neighbourhood Care Scheme Featured in BBC Article on Loneliness

Posted on 23rd May 2014 by
Elaine & Miles

An older but lovely photo of Miles and Elaine
(more recent pictures on the BBC article)

Yesterday the BBC published an article titled “Loneliness: Beating the curse of old age” featuring Elaine Rothwell, a Neighbourhood Care Scheme (NCS) member, and her volunteer Miles Sigley-Brown. It gives us a small window into Elaine’s long and eventful life then highlights a big contrast: Elaine lives alone.

Elaine told BBC journalist, Nick Triggle, how she feels about her situation and how she gets on with her life despite the loneliness of older age. One major part of enjoying her life is her volunteer, Miles, who was matched with her by the NCS.

“[Elaine] has found comfort in a new friendship she has developed with Miles Sigley-Brown, a 46-year-old whom she was introduced to through a local befriending scheme.”

It is clear that Miles and Elaine have developed a great friendship, and you can see how much of an impact Miles’ volunteering has made on Elaine’s life. The NCS works with hundreds more people than just Elaine and Miles. Volunteers like Miles made 6136 visits to isolated people like Elaine in 2013-14 – an increase on the previous year.

Michael Hillman and Nick Triggle

Michael Hillman, featured in the second part of the article, with journalist Nick Triggle

Nick also writes about another scheme member, Michael Hillman. Like Elaine he is isolated, so the NCS matched him with two volunteers – a schoolgirl and her teacher. These two ensure that Michael has contact with somebody, which is essential to overcoming the difficulties of social isolation.

Here you can see a photo of Michael and Nick together.

Nick recognised the NCS’ work and came to us to get an inside look at a befriending scheme by talking to the experts – the scheme members and volunteers themselves. It’s great to see the BBC getting involved with this topic and helping to raise awareness of how important befriending schemes are to the community.

Michael Hillman and Nick Triggle

Michael talks to Nick about his experience

If you have no first-hand experience of social isolation then it’s hard to empathise. It’s incredibly beneficial just to have human contact, but many of us often take it for granted. Articles like this allow people to see into a real person’s life and learn a little bit more about how they feel.

Do you want a volunteer to visit you? See our eligibility criteria, then get in touch through our get support page or call us on 01273 775888.
If you want to become an NCS volunteer, contact us through our volunteering page or call us.

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