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Charity working to combat elder loneliness in care gains strength in new numbers

Gaining strength in numbers, a charity dedicated to combating loneliness among elders in care has announced a host of new appointments to the organisation as it continues its drive to raise £100,000 in 2023.

Adopt a Grandparent was founded at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, helping to build new intergenerational relationships for those in care and under lockdown restrictions. Now, three-years on, it has announced the official appointment of a charity ambassador in the form of Chief Executive of Care England, Professor Martin Green. Helping to drive both awareness of the work of Adopt a Grandparent and fundraising efforts, it is hoped that the new ambassador will help to reach new audiences and inspire more people to support the charity’s work.

​On his new role for the charity, Professor Green said: “I am truly passionate about our care sector – both about the essential work carried out and also about the amazing people receiving care. Becoming an Ambassador for Adopt a Grandparent is an opportunity to support the sector in a whole new way and tackle a major issue for those in care. I’m very proud to help the team continue their great work.”

The appointment of an official ambassador is a major move forwards for the charity’s plans to widen the reach of its support alongside its Board of Trustees; Shaleeza Hasham, Founder and CEO of Adopt a Grandparent, David Barrett, Founder and CEO of Pic PR, Sarah Skuse, Partner at Bevan Brittan LLP, and Paul Birley, former Head of Barclays Healthcare.

Alongside strengthening its governance and outreach, the charity also launched a major fundraising drive at the start of the year, having raised £62,000 so far. This has gone towards developing new ways to support volunteers and ‘grandparents’, including the development of a dedicated app which offers a truly safe space for pairings to interact. The charity has had heartwarming feedback from ‘grandparents’ such as Robin Smith, who commented; “I look forward to the calls enormously,” says Robin. “Tiffany, my ‘grandchild’, tells me all about the technology in Japan where she lives. I can’t see very well so she will describe the view of the city for me and has shown me over our video calls too. Tiffany is so nice and she really listens to me. Our calls make me feel less lonely and really brighten up my day.”

As part of its efforts the charity has brought onboard a number of high profile corporate sponsors, helping to spread the word and enable the incredible intergenerational pairings at the heart of it all. So far, Adopt a Grandparent has received support from multi-award winning law firm, Irwin Mitchell, alongside professional services and investment management company, Colliers, care provider management consulting and coaching firm, Fulcrum, fine jewellery specialist, Tivon and award-winning Surrey-base care group, CHD Living.

Earlier in 2023, the Co-operative also named Adopt a Grandparent as one of its ‘Charities of the Year’, enabling shoppers to donate to the cause whenever they shop in store – doing good while getting the groceries. Additionally, Barclays pledged the support of its Digital Eagles who have helped to develop a bespoke training platform to impart both digital skills and the soft skills essential for younger volunteers to communicate with their elders, including those with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

On strengthening the team at Adopt a Grandparent, the charity’s founder and CEO, Shaleeza Hasham commented: “It has been an incredible journey for Adopt a Grandparent, from its beginnings as a support initiative to becoming a fully-fledged charity. We have touched so many lives and, in turn, been touched by the stories and friendships of our volunteers but there is so much more work to be done, so much more we can do. Our new ambassadors, alongside my fellow trustees and our amazing corporate sponsors all make up a huge part of how we continue to grow and help more people. With 40 care homes across the UK having signed up with their residents volunteering for ‘adoption’, including the lovely Anchor Hanover SE homes, we still need more to pair with the unbelievable number of young volunteers we have. There are currently more than 90,000 people signed up to adopt their own grandparents and we’re excited to continue our work with them.”

For more information about Adopt a Grandparent, to volunteer or to sign up a care home, visit www.adoptagrandparent.org.uk/. ​

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