As the pandemic took hold we saw a significant increase in our activities, with a shift of emphasis as we were being called upon to offer more help in tackling the growing pressure on mental wellbeing. Calls to national charities from the vulnerable and concerned had rocketed since the start of the outbreak, with Age UK alone reporting an 88% increase in calls at one stage. 

We were delighted to create new partnerships with organisations including the Mental Health Liaison Service, based at Watford General Hospital, putting together over 200 ‘well-being’ bags for patients who had been discharged.

Together with Watford & West Herts Chamber of Commerce and Home-Start Watford, we supported the delivery of cooked meals prepared by The Grove Hotel in Chandler's Cross. Over 500 meals, plus biscuits, fruit and sweets, were delivered by volunteers to critical workers and vulnerable older people and families locally.

Working with Hertfordshire Independent Living Services, 3,000 Mental Health Wellbeing Packs were sent out, helping to reduce loneliness and isolation.

Lynne Misner, our CEO commented “Many of the older community we support have struggled to cope with their loss of freedom and
independence during the lockdown. 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.”

Feedback showed us that for many of the recipients, it was not just receiving a freshly cooked meal that made such a difference, but knowing that someone cares. This gave a really poignant insight into just how lonely older people were and how a little kindness can have a big impact.