We issued this press release in June 2020, outlining how we worked with different groups to help older people during the  first stage of the Coronavius pandemic.
 
Small Acts of Kindness, the Hertfordshire charity which helps older people to cope with their loneliness and isolation, is seeing a significant increase in its activities as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In a shift of emphasis, it is being called upon to offer more help in tackling the growing pressure on mental wellbeing within the older population, during this crisis.

Calls to national charities from the vulnerable and concerned have rocketed since the start of the outbreak, with Age UK alone reporting an 88% increase in calls at one stage. Small Acts of Kindness has leant its support by creating new partnerships for the delivery of gift bags and hot meals, which are making a big difference in the lives of hundreds of elderly recipients. 

Lynne Misner, CEO of the Watford-based charity, says that it is appropriate to focus on these benefits in Mental Health Awareness Week. “Many of the older community we support have struggled to cope with their loss of freedom and independence, during the lockdown,” she said.

“Increased isolation is having a huge impact but our experience shows that small things can make a big difference. That’s why we have directed more of our efforts towards organisations who are dealing with the mental side-effects of loneliness, especially for those living alone, who are more likely to experience a negative impact on their mental wellbeing.”

Small Acts of Kindness teamed up with the Mental Health Liaison Service, based at Watford General  Hospital, putting together over 200 ‘well-being’ bags for patients who have been discharged.

It is also supporting Watford & West Herts Chamber of Commerce in delivering cooked meals prepared by The Grove Hotel in Chandler's Cross. Over 500 meals, plus biscuits, fruit and sweets, have been delivered by volunteers to critical workers and vulnerable older people and families, locally.

Lynne Misner commented: “For many of the recipients, it is not just receiving a freshly cooked meal that makes such a difference, it is knowing that someone cares. The feedback we have received gives a really poignant insight into just how lonely older people are right now and how a little kindness can have a big impact.”