According to Age UK, there are over 2 million people in England over the age of 75 who are living alone and at risk of social isolation and the pandemic has made this much worse. OPAL aims to do something practical to help older people in rural west Cheshire to enjoy a better quality of life, both mentally and physically.
Our core purpose is to provide friendship and reduce loneliness in older people who for one reason or another, find it difficult to get out and about to meet others.
Our aim is to get people together in social situations, such as the OPAL Clubs, but we recognise that not everyone is able to take part as they would need physical help from others. Unlike in the past, our volunteers cannot provide the same level of support due to social distancing rules. We therefore offer older people, living in the rural areas of west Cheshire, one or more of the following services:
- A regular friendly telephone chat (often weekly) from a volunteer.
- Our regular newsletter, OPAL Reach, delivered by post or email.
- A doorstep visit or garden visit from an OPAL volunteer.
- An activity bag delivered to you every 2 or 3 months.
- A small group morning or afternoon outing to a local venue for tea/coffee and chat.
- A day or part-day at one of our Clubs each week, with lunch (as of June 2021 – not yet available).
OPAL membership is open to older people living in the rural areas of west Cheshire and everyone wishing to receive a service from OPAL is visited by one of our Organisers who will discuss what we can offer them.
There is a small charge for each of these services.