Loneliness is a key issue in society and staff at Worthing-based company Homewise want to raise awareness of a charity that provides a lifeline for people affected.
Having witnessed the benefits of Time to Talk Befriending through their volunteering work, Homewise staff have set out to raise at least £10,000 to enable to charity to appoint a new part-time manager to secure the Worthing service.
Homewise launched this year’s fundraising challenge, The Big Blind Run 2018, with a sponsored 10K coastal walk in Worthing on Friday and followed with pairs taking part in the RSBC Blindfold Run in London on Sunday.
Mark Neal, Homewise managing director, said: “It’s been a privilege to support this wonderful charity. They work tirelessly to provide a lifeline to the outside world for those suffering in the older community.
“Loneliness can be hidden from view and anything we can to do to raise awareness, and support Time to Talk, is something we’re so happy to do.
“Our team has given up their time to raise money for Time to Talk and have achieved a great feat in the Big Blind Run. We feel so proud and will continue to raise awareness and vital funds for our community.”
Time to Talk Befriending is a Brighton-based charity supporting vulnerable older people who are experiencing chronic loneliness and social isolation.
Emily Kenward, founder and chief executive at Time to Talk Befriending said one service user had said he would rather go without food than without his befriender.
“Bearing in mind this person only receives a visit once a fortnight for up to an hour, the difference this makes is significant,” she added.
Another service user said they had been in ‘a dark place’ before befriending but now they did not have to be lonely any more.
Danielle Ash, marketing communications executive, said: “I’m so proud of the team at Homewise. We’ve all come together, regardless of fitness levels and work commitments, to take on this challenge and succeed.
“Each of us has been inspired by the work Time to Talk Befriending do and really want to see this launch permanently in the Worthing community.
“Older people, like our friend Bill, are struggling with loneliness every day. I’d hate to think where they’ll be this winter without the outreach and support Time to Talk can offer.
“The support from our sponsors and well wishers has been amazing, but we’ve still got a way to go to reach our £10,000 target. Every donation counts, so please give whatever you can to support the older community this winter.”
Vicki Colyer, head of sales, said: “I have been fortunate to take part in many charity events during my time at Homewise. It’s wonderful to be able to make a difference to other people’s lives, while having a lot of laughs with an amazing group of people.”
Sam Rogers, training consultant, described it as ‘an incredible opportunity to take part in an event raising money for a cause close to the heart of most us - vulnerable older people in our local community’.
“Everyone, regardless of fitness level, has been able contribute and all the money is going to make a big difference to so many,” he added.
Tony Fraser, property consultant, said: “It was great to spend time with colleagues out of work and I feel even more integrated into the business and the team as a result.
“Running blind was strange at first but you got used to it and learned to rely on your partner. Trust was key to me and Charlotte, the office manager, was looking out for me all the way round. A great sense of achievement and all for a wonderful cause.”
Mike Boyle, HR manager, said: “Having never taken part in a physical charity event, I was pleased to be able to be part of a fantastic event which is supporting such an amazing cause.
“It was great to be part of leading this project and working with a brilliant project team who are so passionate about the cause. I thank them for all their hard work and amazing efforts.”
Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thebigblindrun for more information and to make a donation.