Face to face
Friends Ageing Better is a community of older people who share what is happening in the city while building relationships with like-minded people who live locally.
During social restrictions, our FAB cafes are closed. But we hope to re-open once restrictions are eased. In the meantime, you can sign up to receive our FAB e-newsletter which shares news of activities and events taking place online and over the phone. We also have a FAB Facebook group you can join here.
Age UK Bristol is running a free telephone befriending service during the pandemic. This service is open to anyone over the age of 50 who would like to have a friendly chat with a local volunteer on a weekly basis; these calls last around 30 minutes. You will speak to the same volunteer each time so that you can gradually get to know each other. Contact LinkAge@ageukbristol.org.uk to register your interest.
Re-Engage is running a call companion service. This service operates in a similar way to Age UK Bristol’s befriending service; each week you speak to the same person at the same time. To be eligible for a call companion you should be living alone or in sheltered housing and have difficulty getting out in normal times. However, Re-Engage consider applications on a case-by-case basis, so if your circumstances don’t completely meet their criteria and you would like a call companion, please do apply. You can apply online here or ring 0800 716543 (calls are free).
Independent Age is also running a free telephone befriending service for people who would enjoy a regular chat. Find out more about their service online or ring 0800 319 6789 (calls are free).
Bristol Drugs Project is running a free weekly telephone support service run for people aged 50 + with current or recent problems related to their drug or alcohol use. This is an open group where you can attend as often or as little as you like. It provides a safe convivial space to meet, enables members to find out about what is going on in the wider community, establishes friendships, and enables you to work to support your peers and engage in wider social networks and activities. For more information please look at the Bristol Drugs Project website or call 0117 987 6009.
If you’re self-isolating, you can still socialise ‘virtually’. Luckily, there are a lot of ways you can keep in touch with people if you have a smartphone, computer or tablet.
Read our guide on how to keep connected using Facebook – Facebook offers an opportunity to not only stay in touch with friends and relatives, but also to join Facebook groups and follow pages that interest you. A Facebook group is something you can join (if you have a Facebook account) where members can discuss a shared interest. If you have a hobby, we can almost guarantee there will be a Facebook group dedicated to it. Through Age UK Bristol’s ‘Friends Ageing Better’ (FAB) project, we have a Facebook group for people over 50 who would like to make more connections in their local area. Just type ‘Friends Ageing Better – FAB’ into the search bar on Facebook.
LinkAge at Age UK Bristol is also working closely with Sparko TV to create a virtual retirement community.
Sparko TV uses innovative technology to enable people to connect with the wider community through their television, and with a simple, easy-to-use remote control. A set-top box plugs into their existing TV, creating an interactive channel that incorporates live exercise classes and social events, lifelong learning opportunities, access to video call, a messaging service, and much more.
If you’d like to find out more about Sparko TV, email Linkage@ageukbristol.org.uk or ring 0117 929 7537