Let us help, Ageing is Everybody's Business, Always

March 30, 2020

Let us help, Ageing is Everybody's Business, Always
The staff at Beth Johnson Foundation (BJF) know how this Coronavirus is affecting and impacting our daily lives and we want to help. Although we are unable to offer face - to - face assistance at the moment, we are still available for those of you who need support, advice or maybe someone to simply talk to. With this in mind, we have staff who you can email or ring for each of our three local projects and our intergenerational project in Northern Ireland.

Bereavement Friendship Groups  
    You don’t need to be alone with your grief
The Bereavement Friendship Group is a free social group run by Healthy Generations and open to people aged 50+ living in Stoke-on-Trent or North Staffordshire.  Talking openly to others who have experienced bereavement can help reduce feelings of isolation which have been particularly difficult during Coronavirus restrictions and as Lockdown slowly comes to an end. To maintain safety, the group is currently meeting online. You can join in from a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone or you can dial in using your telephone. 
The Bereavement Friendship Group provide information on coping with both the emotional and practical aspects of losing a relative or friend; a chance to chat to trained volunteers; and an opportunity to meet others in a similar situation. 

Grief has no time limit
When someone close dies we may grieve for them for a very long time. Even when we think we have finished with grieving something may remind us of our loss and bring back feelings of grief.  We recognise that grief has no time limit and we welcome people to our group regardless of how long ago the bereavment took place.

Your life after bereavement
Everything can seem more difficult following a bereavment.    Many people find that bereavment is not something they get over, it is something they learn to live with. Talking with others affected by bereavment can provide support to build a life around your loss.

Coronavirus
Many people who have been bereaved during the Covid-19 pandemic have suffered more due to the restrictions in place, such as not being allowed to visit loved ones in hospital, not being with them at their end of life, being limited when arranging funerals and having to grieve in isolation.
Experiencing a bereavement during the pandemic has affected people of all ages but particularly older people who are more likely to have lost someone close within their age group. They may have limited social contacts generally and may themselves have been subject to more restrictive social distancing or shielding due to their age or health needs.
As lockdown measures start to ease, some people who have been bereaved during the pandemic are finding it very difficult to establish new relationships and activities on their own and being able to talk to others about their feelings and anxieties can really help.  The Bereavement Freindship Group can help people start to build up a new life around their loss. 

Share emotional support, talk about your experiences, access useful information
The Bereavement Friendship Group is a community based group developed on the basis of peer support. The groups create a social space for people to support each other from the comfort and safety of their own home.
Trained staff and volunteers will welcome people joining the groups and our Tech Buddies can provide any support needed to access our meetings online or by dialling in with a telephone.
Weekly online Bereavement Friendship Group meetings currently take place on Thursday mornings, please contact us for further details.
We are always keen to hear from volunteers who would like to help with this project, please use the contact details below or follow this link to our Volunteer Page
We look forward to welcoming you to the Bereavement Friendship Group.
Contact: Healthy Generations Team
The Beth Johnson Foundation, Parkfield House,
64 Princes Road, Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 7JL
Tel: Amanda 07867 003313/ Jane 07930 321841
Email
Healthy.Generations@bjf.org.uk  Web: www.bjf.org.uk

Dementia Advocacy Provides FREE support for people who are living or know someone with dementia, who have any type of issue. Currently we are offering telephone calls to support people living with dementia with issues. When able we will return to our normal practise of face to face visits.  The dementia advocacy project also facilitates a peer support group solely for people living with dementia. Members of the peer support group are able to share their experiences of living with dementia. Presently the peer support group meet virtually but will return to our normal method of meeting face to face when COVID restrictions are lifted.  Please contact Betty.machin@bjf.org.uk   07961752111    If you need the support of a dementia advocate or would like more information regarding the Peer support group (8.30am to 4.30pm Mon-Friday)
Please note the areas covered by this project are Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

Healthy Generations Digital Programme:  Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, Healthy Generations is a free project for people aged 50+ living in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire. During the Covid 19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions the project has supported people to meet together over Zoom (video conferencing) and other digital media platforms.
We deliver Health & Wellbeing sessions and a variety of social support group sessions, all of these take place over Zoom, please see information on our dedicated Healthy Gens Facebook page. The team, staff and tech-buddy volunteers are able to support the individual to access these sessions. Providing telephone support to download apps and become involved.  This too helps to support lonely
and isolated people within the safety of their own homes.
We shall continue to provide this service until further notice
For further information, please contact Jane Snape, Project Co-ordinator: 07930 321841 jane.snape@bjf.org.uk

Linking Generations Northern Ireland:  Are projects which link older and younger people together for the good of the community. For more information, please contact: 
infolgni@bjf.org.uk

For general enquiries about BJF and the work we are involved in, please contact: admin@bjf.org.uk


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