The founder of a charity that is addressing loneliness through songs and smiles has responded to a report by senior doctors calling for urgent attention to, ‘the rising phenomenon of loneliness amongst older people’.
West Country music man Grenville Jones started his daytime fun singing sessions for older isolated people at four community rooms 9 years ago. The Golden-Oldies Charity, more fondly referred to as ‘Goldies’ and with Sir Cliff Richard as patron, now runs over 140 sessions across England and Wales. Thousands attend the sessions including adults with learning difficulties and dementia.
In the report published yesterday Professor Keith Willett, Director for Acute Care NHS England said;
“The consequences of loneliness among lonely people are increasing with an unremitting demand on health care which will ultimately cripple the NHS.”
Goldies founder Grenville Jones cites regular testimonies from the 40 freelance session leaders who run his charity’s fun sing and smile sessions across the UK.
“Hardly a day goes by without a call from one of our leaders telling me that our sessions really are making a difference to lonely lives. Goldies is NOT a choir, it’s quite simple really, all we do is encourage people who are isolated to get out, to be with others and to make new friends through singing and stretching.”
In recent months the charity has developed its work across Essex, Staffordshire, Yorkshire and under the Goldies Cymru banner many new sessions have been added in South Wales.
In Cardiff there are now hugely successful Goldies singing sessions held at five libraries.
In Uttoxeter local pharmacist Tim Haynes puts out information about Goldies sessions in his town in his prescription bags to the over 60s in his area.
“The Trustees of our small charity want to increase our work and impact across the United Kingdom in the months and years ahead and there is a very simple message to GPs and everyone who is delivering acute care in the NHS.
“Singing should be on prescription.”