Girlguides new badge aims to tackle old age loneliness
Do you have little ones in the girlguides? If so, then there’s a brand new badge they can earn! Girlguides are trying to tackle loneliness in older people and have launched a new badge which can only be earned through visits with elderly people. This new initiative has the aim to tackle loneliness in old age so youngsters have been visiting homes for the elderly to speak to senior citizens to earn the new badge.
The scheme began with a trial run with the Brownies and Rainbows in Manchester before Christmas. The groups hosted events including performances and activities for residents of elderly people’s homes where the two generations mixed and engaged together. After the huge success of the trial run the scheme has been expanded to all 5,000 Rainbows, Brownies and Girlguides in the city before potentially going nationwide.
We think that this initiative is a great idea; kids can bring so much joy into adult’s lives and especially those who are elderly and possibly lonely. Both kids and the elderly can learn from one another and can teach other different skills, many of the elderly members from the trial run reported that they really enjoyed the scheme as they don’t get to see their families much so having kids around was very comforting to them. Former Brownie Veronica Armstrong who is 67 said:
“Me and my age group have the time to spend with children and we can give them a different view on life. We also have skills we can show them like sewing, learning to knit and doing gardening. Plus a lot of my friends miss their families because they don’t live near their own children – and they would really like to have that ongoing involvement with children’s projects."
This scheme is so important as loneliness is becoming an epidemic in the UK so it is important we should do as much as we can to tackle it! The charity Age UK estimates that there are 1.2 million older people who are chronically lonely which is damaging their mental health!
We really hope this scheme goes nationwide soon to get more kids involved. Will you be asking your local girlguides whether they will get involved? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.