Social visits: How to get involved?
Walk, run or cycle to an older person home for a friendly chat
May 24, 2023
Goodgym social visits have been spreading across the nation, creating meaningful connections in Luton, Bromley, York, Portsmouth and many more.
What is a social visit?
A social visit is a 30-60 minute visit to an older person to help reduce loneliness and isolation. You'll have a light conversation, and maybe even a cup of tea and some cake.
Social visits are there to give an older person some relief from the loneliness and isolation that too many people face in their day to day lives. According to a study by Age UK, 1.4 million older people often feel lonely. Sometimes an older person may go days without seeing a new face.
Mrs S lives in Windsor and has been visited by a few different GoodGymers in her area, with someone usually able to fill in if her ‘regular GoodGymer’ is away. When we asked about her experiences with GoodGym social visits so far, she said:
I don't really trust anyone anymore but they [the GoodGymers] really brighten up my week and are very kind to me. I get very lonely and don't see many people, so it's wonderful to have something to look forward to. The world can get very dark these days, and it's nice to know there are good people out there still.
GoodGymers also get a lot out of social visits, and we’re often told how enjoyable and revitalising these visits are.
Hannah recently visited Mrs S in Bromley for the first time. Mrs S used to love walking and being outside, but after her hip replacement she lost most contact with the outside world. As she doesn’t even have a telephone, her interactions with other people are now severely limited and the visits with Hannah have been vital in regaining some contact with the outside world. However, Hannah has also been getting a lot from the visits, as it turns out Mrs S has lots to teach! Hannah said:
Wow - I certainly learnt a lot from Mrs S! She has a really fascinating life story that stretches from Malta and Italy to Egypt and Canada, probably via various other places we didn't get time to move onto. All accompanied with some madeleines to snack on and jog the memory. We also spoke Italian for some of the conversation and she promised to teach me some Arabic another time too!
Social visits are a fantastic way to meet people from all walks of life, learn about different cultures and make a meaningful real world connection.
How can I get involved?
To take part in the new social visits there are three things you must complete. These are:
- Our online missions training
- Our online social visits training
- An active DBS check
To check if you have completed the short online training for missions for older people, please look here. If you haven’t completed this training you can do so here, or revise it here. This shouldn’t take more than 15-20 minutes.
SOCIAL VISITS TRAINING
To complete the social visits training please do so here. This shouldn’t take more than 15-20 minutes.
ACTIVE DBS CHECK
Where is this offer available?
Currently social visits are happening in:
- Kingston upon Thames
- Windsor and Maidenhead
We plan to add more areas in the near future.