Launch press release - 19/11/2020
‘Give Something Back’ campaign set to spread Christmas cheer among city’s lonely over 60s
Edinburgh charity Vintage Vibes launches Christmas campaign to encourage donations, acts of kindness and socially distanced fundraising activities – Aims to raise £2,021 for 2021
Edinburgh charitable partnership Vintage Vibes is asking Scots to ‘Give Something Back’ as part of its 2020 Christmas campaign to help Edinburgh’s vulnerable people over the age of 60 cope with loneliness this winter.
Vintage Vibes is appealing to Edinburgh residents and beyond to donate their chosen amount in support of its goal to raise £2,021 for 2021.
The funds will benefit the charity’s VIPs – lonely over 60s who normally meet at least weekly with a dedicated volunteer. Since the start of the UK’s first lockdown in March, VIPs and volunteers have met via phone calls, online chats and socially distanced outdoor meet-ups.
The charity’s last campaign – Biscuit and a Blether – which ran in April 2020 saw an increase in the number of VIPs supported over 60%, bringing the total to 114.
Vintage Vibes, Connection Champion Heather King, says: “This has been a tough year for everyone, with many people having to cut back. And because of the various restrictions due to Covid-19 our VIPs have been even more at risk from the impact of loneliness. As the new lockdown limits opportunities to socialise in person and as we move into darker, colder days, we hope to encourage Scots to donate some of the money they might normally spend on travel to work or socialising for this great cause.
“Inspired by the success of the UK #GiveBack2020 campaign, we want to involve as many people as possible in sharing some holiday cheer with Edinburgh’s lonely and isolated over 60s living alone.”
Apart from donations, Vintage Vibes is asking the public to pledge acts of that show they are thinking of others as part of ‘Give Something Back’. Examples include; phoning someone you know who lives on their own; leaving a lovely online review of a local business; consider ways you can volunteer for a local charity; offer to run errands for someone your know may be struggling to get out.…. These can be shared on social media using the hashtag #VVKindnessClub. To further raise awareness, the charity is extending an Invitation to Dress Yellow to schools, businesses and the wider community. The aim is to share images of as many yellow items of clothing as possible to further raise awareness of loneliness among over 60s and generate a small donation from those who get involved. Donations can be made via www.justgiving.com/campaign/vvkindnessclub2020 and more information on this campaign can be found at www.vintagevibes.org.uk/vvkindnessclub
Research by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) conducted during the first lockdown earlier this year concluded that 30% of respondents had felt lonely due to the lockdown. That is a marked increase compared to 5% of respondents previously stating they felt lonely ‘often or always’.
Vintage Vibes VIP, George Singh, (age 80), said, “Being able to connect via phone calls when lockdown hit was valuable and made such a difference. But moving to physically-distanced outdoor meetings was great, it gives me something to look forward to outside of the house each week. We like to go out on walks in local parks in dry weather, chatting and exploring with my volunteer makes us both happy and the time flies! We both enjoy it and that is the main thing!”
As part of the campaign Vintage Vibes is also distributing Advent Calendars alongside a surprise gift for all 114 of its VIPs. Sponsored once again by Deans Properties, the chocolate filled calendars will feature messages of encouragement for those feeling lonely during the holidays.
Becky McDonald, Operations Manager at Deans Properties, said: “We’re delighted to support Vintage Vibes once again. We’ve seen first-hand how much of a difference the volunteers are making, and this is something we want to continue to support. This year has been a challenging year for everyone so now, more than ever, it is important for our community to come together and support each other.”
Vintage Vibes was founded in 2015 to help over 60s by providing personalised companionship and support that is both tailored to their needs and integrated with the community. All volunteers are PVG checked before being matched with a vulnerable older person.
For further media information contact Fiona Vernon at Niche Works on: 0131 669 0333 / email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Online interviews can be arranged with a Vintage Vibes representative, Volunteer and VIP on request. Images available HERE
NOTES TO EDITOR
- Vintage Vibes was formed as a partnership between LifeCare Edinburgh and Space (previously The Broomhouse Centre) in 2015.
- The locations of the organisation are:
- LifeCare Edinburgh – 2 Cheyne Street, Edinburgh, EH4 1JB
- Space – 79-89 Broomhouse Crescent, Edinburgh, EH11 3RH
- Vintage Vibes matches over 60s who suffer from isolation or loneliness with local volunteers (aged 17 and over) who meet them on a weekly basis to socialise. Vintage Vibes ensures quality matches based on shared interests through a highly personalised model managed by trained service co-ordinators.
- Services include one-to-one visiting in the home, one-to-one visiting outside the home, pet visiting, family visiting and friendship groups including a Film Group and Vocal Vibes Singing Group.
- Volunteers are assessed and trained before they are paired with VIPs.
- Both volunteers and VIPs can be recommended to the organisation via the website by friends and family.
- While the main objective of Vintage Vibes is helping over 60s combat isolation and loneliness, the volunteers also report benefitting from the friendships that they make.
- Vintage Vibes have supported 552 VIPs over the past five years.
- Vintage Vibes has engaged 397 volunteers since the project began, across groups, office and 1-1 volunteering.
- The team includes Heather Allan, service co-ordinator, Andrew Ainsworth, service co-ordinator, Mary Keegan, service-co-ordinator, Georgia Artus, development manager, and Heather King, connection champion.
Facts about loneliness and isolation in Edinburgh:
- Edinburgh is the loneliest city in the UK for older people.
- Around 80,000 people over 65 in Scotland always or often feel lonely.
- Isolation and loneliness are detrimental to health and wellbeing and can contribute to depression, increased risk of dementia and early death.
- Loneliness is estimated to be as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
- Loneliness increases the risk of death by 10%.
- Pensioners in Edinburgh disclosed that on average they spent less than an hour a day socialising, making them the loneliest in the UK.
Facts about Vintage Vibes Christmas campaign
- The advent calendar has been designed this year by Vintage Vibes volunteer Luisa Henao
- The design is based on a popular Scottish icon/ starring a Christmas highland cow
- The advent calendar contains Cadbury’s chocolate
- Creation of the advent calendar has been sponsored by Deans Properties
- The campaign has been inspired by the Global Giving Tuesday movement, and Giving Tuesday UK’s #GiveBack2020 theme
- #VVKindnessClub 2020 is the first donation-led campaign run by Vintage Vibes