Hythe Salvation Army have created a new ‘open house’ event for people to socialise in on Wednesday mornings.
The initiative aims to be a friendly community gathering and had its first meeting last week, running from 10am-12 noon.
The ‘open house’ is hoping to combat loneliness by providing a space for those in attendance to feel at home, meeting with others for refreshments and socialisation.
Activities range from enjoying food and drink, playing games such as scrabble, knitting, or just having someone to lend a listening ear and the opportunity to receive friendly advice.
Sue Scotford commented on their Facebook post thanking the organisation for holding the event.
She said: “Fabulous morning enjoyable company and people learnt how to crochet butterflies and knit bunting also tons of coffee, tea and hot cross buns, highly recommend it.”
The Salvation Army is a non-profit organisation that offers support and a range of events to the community throughout the week. The open house is part of their community outreach, in addition to their Foodbank which is also open during the Wednesday meetings, no referral needed.
According to Age UK statistics, shown in this loneliness heat map, people aged 65 and over in central Hythe are at a very high risk of loneliness. Therefore, places like the Salvation Army’s new ‘open house’ have been introduced to reduce loneliness in the area.
(You can find what the risk of loneliness is in your town here.)
The Christian organisation also holds weekly toddler group meetings on Mondays and Tuesdays costing just £1.00 a session for each child. There are also refreshments available for toddlers, parents and carers alike, to socialise in a comfortable and friendly environment.