Salford Elim Church on Moorfield Road have responded to lockdown measures with a simple way of making people feel less isolated- a virtual coffee morning, running every Wednesday morning at 10:30am.
Ian Peacock, 40, Community Outreach worker and Worship Co-Ordinator at Salford Elim Church, said: “The coffee mornings were birthed as a response to the lockdown measures and the knowledge that many of us would be feeling the effects of being isolated, especially those who live alone and are retired.
“The aim is to be a fun and relaxed time together to take our minds off the negative effects of the pandemic.”
The mixture of live music, games, competitions, jokes, and chit chat via zoom is hopefully a way of bringing a smile to people’s faces.
Mr Peacock said: “For those who have been able to access them, I think that anything that gives people something to look forward to has got to be valuable. The coffee morning is just one simple way of trying to offer that.”
Obviously, these virtual meetups are not a perfect substitute for face- to- face interaction, but it is still a nice way to combat loneliness, especially for those who live alone.
According to Age UK, more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone, and more than a million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.
Although older people might struggle with technology use, Mr Peacock said: “It’s just tough on everyone because most of us don’t want to spend all our time in front of a computer, phone or tablet, but at least we have digital means of communication. In some countries, they have no way of meeting up with others.
“I think this pandemic has brought mental health into even sharper focus; our inherent need for community, for human touch, and to be away from digital distraction 24 hours a day.”
To get involved, follow the link via the ‘What’s on’ page of their website.