FANS in lockdown With older people at the heart of everything we do, we want to share with you, our friends and supporters, some of what we’ve been doing in response to coronavirus. Staywell’s focus has always been on helping those older, more vulnerable people in our local community who need us most, including those who are experiencing loneliness & isolation. Coronavirus is shocking, overwhelming & isolating. Our FANS (Friendly And Neighbourly Support) project was set up in 2019 with National Lottery funding to develop and increase the capacity of our befriending and companionship services. Staywell’s befriending and companionship services include one-to-one befriending, telephone befriending and social activities within our social centres, offering regular social contact and emotional support to older and lonely adults over the age of 65 years, providing friendship and a feeling of self-worth. Unfortunately, from 12th March 2020, face-to-face contact and home visits were paused, to avoid the risk of spreading the virus, and replaced by phone calls wherever possible. Over the last nine weeks FANS has been offering an emotional lifeline to so many and is having a profound effect on the lives of the older people it supports. 'Thank you for everything that you do! It is extremely appreciated and much much needed :)' Staywell’s team of almost 200 volunteers is making regular phone calls to over 400 people, offering support, friendship, contact with the outside world, providing emotional support and reassurance where they can. Demand is ever-increasing. Our volunteers are also checking that people are eating well, have enough food in, help to get more delivered if necessary and are staying hydrated. They are making sure people are taking and have access to any medication which they might need, as well as encouraging them to keep in touch with others over the phone, where possible, or digitally if they can. We'll be providing further updates on this project over the coming months.