LAUNCHED! Bromley Social Visits are here
Social visits continue to grow as they reach GoodGym Bromley
March 02, 2023
As the pilot continues to develop and grow, Social Visits have now gone live across Bromley with GoodGymers across the area being urged to give it a try.
This exciting initiative is aimed at reducing loneliness and isolation among older people by providing them with a friendly visit from a GoodGymer or two. With the Office for National Statistics finding that half a million older people don't see or speak to anyone for at least five or six days a week, the GoodGym social visit hopes to tackle this issue head-on.
The social visit is a 20-30 minute opportunity to chat and connect with an older person, with no other tasks required. It's a chance to make a real difference to someone's day just by simply having a light conversation and helping to reduce feelings of loneliness with a much-needed friendly face and a listening ear.
The story so far...
With the pilot launching only last year, GoodGym have been inundated with news of the positive impact, on both sides of the visits.
Stories of new-found friendships, renewed lease of life and building regular plans to have coffee and a cake are seen across the social visit areas.
Often, the reasons for getting involved can be touching to hear. When talking to GoodGymer, Georgeta about the reasons for signing up to social visits, GoodGym discovered that there's much more than simply the want to do some good; it's more likely a cause for connection and the wellbeing boost of supporting and empowering others.
What made you sign up to do social visits in the first place?
"Social visits are very close to my heart as a result of my experience with my father.
He was very lonely in his last few years of life, after my mother had passed away. And I was not able to visit him often due to geographical, family and work constraints. I wish he had somebody to visit him regularly, just for a chat, in the way that we, GoodGym volunteers, are doing it here in the UK."
What do you personally get out of social visits, what makes it worth spending your free time doing it?
"If I can brighten somebody's day just by saying hello and having a chat, then that's a good day for me and a time well spent. That makes me want to go out and do it and that also means physical exercise, with either my cycling when I go further or just walking when closer by.
It's a brilliant combination and I am so glad I have joined GoodGym and I am able to do it."
How does it work?
Local charities and organisations (known as referrers) can request a block of six visits per older person and GoodGymers can sign up for these visits one at a time. That means they can visit the same older person multiple times without committing to a regular weekly visit, allowing them to fit these good deeds around their own schedule and build a more meaningful friendship at the same time.
GoodGym continue to partner closely with amazing local organisations and charities to ensure that everything we do works towards reducing loneliness for as many older people as possible.
How can I get started?
To take part in the Social Visit program, GoodGymers need to complete online missions training, online social visits training and an active DBS check. The process is straight forward and you'll be on your way to making a difference in no time.
- Make sure to sign up and become a GoodGymer first.
- Complete your online missions training
- Complete your social visits training
- Submit your DBS check and have it verified
Full FAQ's are available here
How can my organisation refer isolated older people who would benefit from social visits?
Email email@example.com and they can provide you with further information.