LFC Connect helping to tackle social isolation

This year, we’re supporting the Mental Health Foundation’s Mental Health Awareness Week and its theme of loneliness.

Loneliness is increasingly affecting more and more of us in the UK and can have a significant impact on our physical and mental health. This has only been heightened during the pandemic. Social interaction and connection with other people are fundamental in keeping our mental health intact and we can all play a part in helping to tackle loneliness.

LFC Connect, a joint initiative with LFC Foundation and LFC’s community programme, Red Neighbours, was created during the coronavirus outbreak in 2020, to help those in our community most vulnerable to loneliness, stay connected.

In a bid to reduce social isolation amongst older and vulnerable neighbours in the north Liverpool and Kirkby communities, LFC Foundation, Red Neighbours and LFC Fan Experience staff have been spending time each week to chat to people on the phone and have a virtual cuppa with them.  

The regular calls remain strong even now, when life is beginning to resemble pre pandemic, with over 790 calls made so far, resulting in over 11,339 minutes.

One recipient of the LFC Connect calls is 91-year-old avid red, Collette.

After being referred to LFC Connect from Citizens Advice Bureau, the phone calls have since been a wonderful pick me up through the weeks and have lifted her spirits considerably. Read her full story here.

Dr Paula Carroll, Department Manager for Insights and Impact at LFC Foundation and LFC Connect caller said,

’This is a fantastic and much needed initiative. A 20-minute call can really have a positive impact on someone. They may not have received any calls or visits from anyone that week, so they are grateful to receive a call. We just chat about anything and everything. It’s an absolute pleasure to be part of this service, we cheer people up, we help to reduce their social isolation and it makes me feel that I’ve done something worthwhile.’

Pat, 76, a recipient of the calls since the beginning of the pandemic couldn’t speak more highly of LFC Connect. A season ticket holder since 1955, not being able to go to the match during covid and this season due to ill health, has really took its toll on her.

‘It’s been great and it’s the highlight of my week. It’s been a lifeline through Covid, and I can’t fault the service – I love getting the calls and the staff are great. The only way to improve the service is to send Virgil Van Dijk around!’

Ste Leftley is one of our Premier League Primary Stars Co-ordinators and has been involved in LFC Connect since inception.

‘It’s been so rewarding being part of a great project to support people who may have been shielding, the elderly, vulnerable or socially isolated or just in need of a little chat. It also allows us to highlight anyone that needs any extra support from local services such as foodbanks, NHS or CAB offices.’

‘It’s such an empowering initiative where we get the chance to reminisce about the ‘good old days’ with the recipients. It’s such a good link for myself and all the other LFC Connect call volunteers, so much so that we have continued with the calls even though restrictions have lifted – we realise not all people in society can get back to normal.’

Red Neighbours have a variety of weekly activities to help reduce social isolation for the older generation such as Walking Football, Walking Netball & Chair Based Yoga. Please contact RedNeighbours@liverpoolfc.com or Christine Mounsey from the Red Neighbours team on 07701 320 455 for more information.

We also have our LFC Foundation’s Mental Health Team, who are dedicated to supporting those in our community, both old and young with their mental health. From championing local charities such as Sean’s Place & James Place who provide vital support for men who are dealing with feelings of anxiety, depression and suicide, to our primary and secondary school activation, On Target, with national children’s charity, Action for Children. For more information head to our Health & Wellbeing page.