Good Companions in Clifton are a local charity that supports isolated, vulnerable and lonely older people in the Clifton, Wilford and Sliverdale areas of Nottingham through the provision of weekly friendship groups plus a home-visiting scheme. Below they talk about their plans for an unconventional Christmas period where they continue to spread the festive spirit:
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic we have supported service users with regular phone calls, collection of food shopping and medication. As part of our outreach service we also distribute a monthly parcel to our many service users; in addition to a newsletter, it contains quizzes, word searches and a sweet treat. There is a prize draw each month and members have been excited to receive their winning hampers. In addition, we provide a phone befriending service, fortnightly friendship group catch-ups on Zoom (held on the first and third Tuesday of each month, 10.30am), and a WhatsApp chat group. We continue to support members by providing friendship and a listening ear, as well as welcoming new friends.
Attendees to our Friendship Groups, our Home Visiting Scheme, and friends from further afield, always look forward to our annual Christmas party – held at Clifton Methodist Church on Rivergreen. Here at Good Companions we are still looking forward to celebrating Christmas but with a slightly different twist this year: our lovely volunteers will be delivering a ‘party in a bag’ to our 150+ service users at the beginning of December. This will contain our newsletter, puzzles, games, as well as other special Christmas items. We plan on celebrating Christmas in Good Companions style, ‘together’ in our own homes on the afternoon of Monday 14th December.
There will also be a giant Christmas raffle, to be drawn on Friday 4th December. Tickets are £1 and sold in books of five; if you would like to buy tickets for this draw then please leave a message on our answer phone (see below) by 1st December – leaving your name and contact number – and we will be in touch to arrange to get the tickets to you.
The ability of Good Companions to continue to function in the current ‘at home’ state has only been possible due to extra-ordinary income from a variety of funding sources. We are very grateful for the grants we have received from a number of Trusts and other available funds and, more recently, from local individuals and businesses, who have responded to our Christmas appeal.
If you would like to receive regular contact with one of our phone befrienders, or to make a referral for an older relative or neighbour to receive support, then please phone Good Companions on (0115) 878 6182 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Likewise, if you wish to volunteer with us or make a donation we would love to hear from you.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!