How a Hartlepool cafe is continuing to tackle loneliness in town during latest lockdown
A Hartlepool community cafe is supporting people suffering with loneliness during the latest lockdown and has won lottery funding to help.
LilyAnne’s in Victoria Road is currently closed to customers, but staff are supporting the national Let’s Talk Loneliness campaign and are delivering 100 hampers to people in the community who are isolated and live alone.
The cafe has been awarded £2,500 by the Government and The National Lottery Community Fund towards the project.
LilyAnne’s manager Trevor Sherwood said: “We wanted to create a way of showing members of our community that we care and that we are thinking of them while we are within the lockdown, by providing small packs that will help improve the mental well-being of those who are socially isolated.
“The last week of January is the hardest for most, because Christmas bills start hitting the door mat, people have the least amount of money this added to the national coronavirus lockdown will increase the levels of isolation and mental health thoughts which is why we’ll be sending out 100 hampers to those within our community who are isolated and could simply do with some cheering up to know that members of the community are thinking of them, support is available and that they are not alone.”
The Social Companionship First Aid Packs include adult colouring books, pencils, playing cards, dominoes, activity packs, drinking hot chocolate, tea bags, sweets and information on support that is available.
LilyAnne’s is a community interest company with all profits from the cafe invested back into its work to tackle social isolation and creating companionship.
During December it also shared a number of hampers with armed forces veterans to show they were still thinking of them.
Trevor added LilyAnne’s will soon announce a project that will support people back into the community once the national restrictions have eased and it is safe to meet in community spaces again.
LilyAnne's top tips to reduce feelings of loneliness are to talk to family and friends to help stay connected.
Text or email your friends to strike up a conversation or to reconnect with someone you have lost touch with.