“Thanks for keeping me sane, I have felt less alone having someone to talk too” – Customer
To combat isolation and loneliness during this time, we’ve launched the Buddy Club which has been set up to provide regular companionship and emotional support through daily phone calls to our most vulnerable customers.
Social isolation is difficult for everyone but it’s even harder for those who have no support network during this time. The customers we are calling are isolated and receiving little or no support from family or friends, therefore leading to serious wellbeing issues.
Social isolation and distancing is particularly difficult for the elderly and vulnerable, as well as those with few family or those whose family are quarantined themselves. Getting food and supplies can be difficult, and it’s not always easy for some people to find out what support is available to them in their area.
Our Buddy Club helps to keep our customers engaged. Having someone to listen and regularly talk to can and will make a huge difference to a vulnerable person’s life and will give them back hope when they need it the most.
We have built five Buddy Teams made up of colleagues from across the organisation, who are covering each region: Rother, Solent, Avon, Yeovil and Windsor. The Buddy Framework provides a support network to those who need it. It provides both emotional support and signposting to help available in the individual’s local community.
Each colleague has been specifically trained on topics such as safeguarding, challenging conversations, self-care and resilience, support mechanisms and IT, and will begin their calls today.
Our colleagues are from across the organisation, and the scheme allows them to make a real difference to our customers.
“I started a pilot Buddy Scheme with some of the Whitehill and Bordon residents. To take part in the buddy scheme has been an amazing experience, although a little anxious making the first calls it soon became the highlight of my week. Everyone I phoned was delighted with the contact and almost half said how good and kind it was of Radian to call them. Most were in good form, so were note, taking a gauge on how our vulnerable residents are coping during the early days of lock down was an invaluable experience. To provide a little extra comfort to those who needed some help was an absolute pleasure.” – Graham Bryant, Project Manager
Although the measures imposed by the government are medically necessary, we know that isolation will have an impact on people, particularly the elderly, in terms of mental health and increased loneliness. The Buddy Framework has been set up to try and help combat these issues and we are already seeing positive results. The ongoing project will last for as long as our communities need it.
“It’s nice to be able to have a laugh during a time like this and to talk about the café even though we aren’t there, we really miss it” – Customer
“Having someone to chat to makes me feel normal again.” – Customer
“You are the only person I talk to and it’s been really helpful” – Customer