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Loneliness Awareness Week

Southampton keeping Senior Saints connected

17 Jun 2021
Senior Saints video call

How weekly phone calls from Saints Foundation have benefited participants and staff during lockdown

This Loneliness Awareness Week, we are looking at how Premier League clubs have been working in their local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep people connected and to help those at risk of social isolation.

Southampton

Receiving even just one phone call a week can make all the difference if you are feeling isolated and lonely.

For the past year or so Saints Foundation, the charity arm of Southampton FC, has reached out to support senior members of the community in many ways, including making weekly phone calls and hosting socially-distanced walking sessions.

The feeling of being a nuisance for their families by contacting them is a feeling all too familiar for many older people.

"When you are younger you've got lots of friends, all who are healthy and well and who would do anything for you, as you would for them," says Patricia Carrett, a Senior Saints participant.

"But when you get to a certain age you feel like you are imposing on younger people."

Being able to speak via weekly video calls has not only eased a sense of isolation and loneliness, but helped Senior Saints in other ways.

"It's given me confidence, being able to talk to you and the Saints Foundation," Patricia Langridge tells her fellow participants. "I am quite a shy person anyway, but you make it easier."

Helping each other

For Foundation staff, the regular communication has proved mutually enjoyable and beneficial.

"I don't know what I would have done without you guys through the pandemic," says Jess Hulbert, the Foundation's Health Projects Coordinator.

"You've had a benefit on us as staff members turning up to those sessions, doing those quizzes. Everything we did, it really gave us a purpose as well."

The Foundation is encouraging more older people in Southampton to get involved if they are feeling lonely. You can find out more on their official website.

Get involved

People can get involved with the #LetsTalkLoneliness campaign, which raises awareness of loneliness and supports those who are socially isolated at this time.

For tips on what you can do, and to find out where to get support, visit the LetsTalkLoneliness website.

Also in this series

Part 1: 'Pre-match socials have given me mental strength'
Part 2: Shaun helping others thanks to Sheff Utd support
Part 4: How Brighton gave Joe a lifeline in lockdown
Part 5: PL Primary Stars encouraging children to get in touch
Part 6: Watford allowing generations to come together
Part 7: How Wolves used music video to combat isolation

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