Optalis's MD visits Link Visiting Scheme's Pie and Pint Club

During December, our staff raised a total of £635.50 for local charity The Link Visiting Scheme through raffle ticket sales and a pub quiz event for staff (held at the Molly Millar Pub). Optalis wanted to help this charity in particular because Christmas time can be very lonely for older people who are isolated, or don’t have many family members close by, and the charity do a great deal of work to combat this in the community.

Optalis’ Managing Director Andrew Pickup visited one of the charity’s organised ‘Pie and Pint’ clubs today (Monday January 28) at the Wheelwrights Arms in Hurst, to see first-hand how staff’s fundraising efforts is helping older people access social contact and get out and about in their community.

The club takes place in different pubs around the borough most Mondays, and brings otherwise-isolated older people together by providing transport to and from the venue. As well as organising the transport for attendees, the charity hosts the event. The clubs have in fact proved so popular that the Link visiting Scheme want to start another.

Andrew Pickup highlighted the positive impact of the community involvement initiative on Optalis, and said: “We’re delighted to support The Link Visiting Scheme. Because our company provide a range of support services ‘in the home’, as well as residential care, we felt it was a charity with a strong connection to what we are already trying to achieve; positive outcomes for older people and people with a disability.

“The issue of social isolation amongst older people needs to be addressed. We are trying to do our part, and with each lunchtime club of this kind costing around £85, we are glad that we can help cover the cost of around seven of these sessions for residents.”

Scheme Coordinator at the Link Visiting Scheme, Marjie Walker, said: “'Feeling lonely and isolated is a growing problem in our community. Loneliness can have a huge impact on your physical health and your mental health. For this reason we feel it’s very important to help people socialise with one another. Making friends and having something to look forward to can make all the difference to an elderly person. We are so grateful to Optalis for helping us achieve our aim of getting older people to socialise and have a good time with one another! It makes such a difference to someones life.

(More information about The Link Visiting Scheme available from scheme coordinator Marjie Walker on (0118) 979 8019, or email: marjie@linkvisiting.org)

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