whg helps tackle loneliness in Walsall

  • 24th May 2021

  • Corporate news Customer news

whg has brought in a team of experts to help tackle the isolation and loneliness of some of its customers.

The leading Midlands’ landlord has recruited four Kindness Champions to work alongside and support customers who are feeling alone, as part of its Kindness Counts project.

The project has been launched in response to the challenges some households have experienced during the pandemic. During lockdown whg rang 8,000 of its customers to check in on their welfare. Almost a third of those contacted were affected by loneliness or isolation.

It is one of several initiatives being launched as part of the work the Walsall Together Partnership is doing, to support the building of resilient communities, in order to reduce health and social inequalities and improve outcomes for the people of Walsall.

The Kindness Champions, who are all whg customers, are considered ‘experts’ due to their life experience and ability to engage with people who can be forgotten or hidden within communities.

They will offer a programme of activities with the aim of increasing confidence and self-esteem and provide opportunities for social contact. These will include a befriending service, bringing young people together through gaming and identifying and supporting customers who are carers and may struggle to think about their own needs.

Head of Health and Wellbeing Connie Jennings said: “Loneliness and isolation are key public health issues which can lead to poor physical and mental health and in some cases premature death.

Loneliness affects people of all ages and is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

“When we spoke to our customers many talked about their feelings of being left out or missing out and having no other person to rely upon. The recent lockdown will have undoubtedly exacerbated these feelings and increased the number of people affected by social isolation.

“This signals an immediate need for us to act and focus upon preventing loneliness and isolation.”

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