Simon Maskell (left) and Ruth George (right) at the LBHF Civic Awards 2022

Award-winning Fulham charity tackling the “loneliness pandemic”

A Fulham charity that helps improve the livelihoods of vulnerable residents is attempting to promote creativity and physical exercise in the area.

Jamie Hilton, 38, director of Fulham Good Neighbours, spoke about the ways in which the charity helps the area, and the positive impact it has.

The charity aims to improve the health, happiness and livelihoods of people across the area, by hosting social events, exercise classes, helping people with day-to-day tasks, and more.

One of the group’s aims is to promote creativity and physical exercise, with evidence that both contribute to greater levels of happiness in old age.

The charity also helps promote inclusion with technology, after the pandemic forced them to do more of their work online.

When asked about the challenges people face in the coming future, Hilton said that loneliness and increasing poverty are big issues.

“There’s a loneliness pandemic,” he said, mentioning the lack of neighbourly connections in some areas and the need for more social connections.

Hilton spoke about how he had wanted to volunteer after he enjoyed socialising with people in his previous career in evaluating people’s homes.

When asked about his personal experience working for the charity, he said the work is highly rewarding.

He said that hearing from people who the charity has helped is a very rewarding part of his work.

The charity has also won multiple awards, including the Queen’s award for voluntary service, the LBHF Civic Spirit Award and the Lord Mayor Dragon Award.

They also won an award at the 2022 International Congress for Healthy City Design for their Adopt a Garden project.

When asked about what people can do to help those in their own local area, he said to keep in mind what’s available in regard to helping those around you.

He mentioned older people who are lonely, how they might have neighbours who can help and the benefits of neighbourly connections.

Fulham Good Neighbours has been a charity for over one-hundred years, adopting their current name in 1966.

People can help to support their work through volunteering, fundraising and donations.

Featured image credit: Fulham Good Neighbours

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