The Asda Foundation
The Asda Foundation has awarded Royal Voluntary Service over £1.2m to support projects which enable volunteers to provide practical support and companionship to older people at home and in the community.
Thanks to their support, since 2016 over 200 local volunteer led groups have been supported across the UK and over 2,286 people have been helped to stay connected to their communities.
As the country faced the coronavirus pandemic, the Asda Foundation quickly responded to our emergency appeal to support older and vulnerable people by providing a grant of £200,000 to enable volunteers across Great Britain to make 100,000 companionship calls to vulnerable people isolating at home. Many of the people we support need help adjusting to a very different way of life so volunteers will call for a friendly chat, checking how they are bearing up physically and mentally and signposting other sources of help should they be required.
ASDA Happy To Chat
Separately to our work with the Asda Foundation, we are proud to be supporting ASDA’s new initiative to help combat loneliness, especially heightened by recent lockdown measures, in the lead up to Christmas. With help from Royal Voluntary Service, ASDA is working with its delivery drivers and in store Community Champions to tackle social isolation in the community with the aim of delivering a little Christmas kindness this year.
Throughout December ASDA’s 7,500 delivery drivers will have the option to add a new element to their uniform: a ‘Happy to Chat’ badge to let customers know they’re happy to have a quick chat with them whilst their shopping is being delivered. The initiative was developed as it was recognised that the drivers formed a lifeline for some of these people throughout the pandemic. A quick chat can make a big difference and help lift the spirit during these difficult times. The badges will help encourage people to start a conversation, particularly useful for those who might feel shy and don’t want to be a burden.
Royal Voluntary Service has provided conversation starters to help someone who might really benefit from it and a list of emergency contacts to pass onto people who need further support. And it’s not just delivery drivers who can help out, everybody can do their bit in reaching out to people they think may be lonely – these conversation starters can help generate a chat with someone who might really benefit from it:
- How are you doing / feeling today?
- What’s your favourite meal?
- What’s your favourite Christmas food? Have you treated yourself to a mince pie yet or are you not a fan?
- Do you think it will snow this Christmas?
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Work with Royal Voluntary Service
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