At the end of July we launched our outreach and befriending service in response to the difficulties students and families faced during lockdown. The prolonged isolation experienced during the pandemic has meant that many have struggled with poor mental health. We’ve identified students in particular need of respite and our staff and volunteers have been meeting up with them and going for walks, bike rides or simply having a sit down and a chat in the park. For students not quite ready to venture out we deliver exercise or art packs and have a chat on the doorstep or a simple phone or Zoom call.
All our visits follow current social distancing guidelines and students undergo a thorough risk assessment before taking part. Connecting socially with someone and getting a bit of exercise in the process is a relaxing healthy way to increase wellbeing and lift the spirits.
‘I like cycling around Battersea Park, it's nice. I like looking at the swans and cygnets. I would like to start a Share Football Team!’
– Michael, student
‘I did have a wonderful time with Doris last week. We went for a walk around her local park and I had her show me around her neighbourhood...she had a wonderful time. She mentioned it had been hard to stay home during lockdown but going out with a staff member from Share was really great and she misses all her friends and the staff and can’t wait to get back. She also showed me a few boxing moves and Kung-Fu/Tai Chi exercises to keep fit!’
– Alice, staff member
‘Alice taught me it’s important to keep distance and to keep my hands clean because of the virus, I'm happy to do that so I am keeping myself safe and healthy…this has been so nice. I like to keep doing exercise to look after myself’
– Doris, student
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