(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Looking to make a difference while you are stuck at home? Why not adopt a grandparent?
CHD Living, a South London-based, family-owned group of care facilities, launched an “Adopt a Grandparent” campaign to help combat loneliness during the coronavirus pandemic.
"We launched our Adopt a Grandparent campaign to bring a sense of comfort to young people and the elderly who may not have grandparents/grandchildren of their own, with the aim of creating long-lasting intergenerational friendships," CHD Living said in a statement.
The care home group announced the campaign last year, looking for locals to be paired with one of their residents across their 13 Surrey and South London-based site; but now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group has now digitizing the campaign and is looking for virtual volunteers to "adopt" one of their residents to chat with them virtually and keep them company.
Those interested in volunteering are asked to fill out an online form. Volunteers will then be paired with one of CHD Living's residents, based on common interests - a "new grandma or grandpa." Then the care home group will arrange a video call with you and your adopted grandparent.
CHD Living asks that once paired volunteers will keep in touch with their adopt grandparent, whether that be through phone class or video chats, sending pictures, stories, or peoms through mail or email for them to enjoy, and/or sending letters.
Shaleeza Hasham, head of communications & commissioning at CHD Living, told The Independent: “The nature of care means that we’re looking after some of the most vulnerable members of society at the moment. It’s a worrying time and we’re taking the threat of coronavirus incredibly seriously, putting stringent processes and protocols in place to protect our residents as much as possible.
“We are however keen to keep spirits in the homes high and so have been thinking of ways that we can continue to enrich the lives of our residents whilst providing them with stimulation and companionship.
“It made sense at this time to digitize the Adopt a Grandparent campaign and to recruit further volunteers who might like to help keep our residents company over the coming weeks. It will be a wonderful distraction for everyone involved."
CHD Living said the scheme had already seen an influx of registrations in recent weeks with 36 new sign-ups in March alone.
“The recent increase in registrations is really great to see. It’s clear that the public are looking for rewarding ways in which to fill their time and we know our residents will be delighted to start building these relationships,” Hasham said.
If you, or someone you know is interested in enrolling in the scheme, you can do so by clicking the following link: www.chdliving.co.uk/adopt-grandparent