Work is not the only answer to loneliness, says Barbara Locke

Barbara Locke, Head of CSV's Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme, points out that there are other ways to engage older people to sustain their physical and mental wellbeing than paid employment.

"David Halpern is right to point out that loneliness is detrimental to an older person’s wellbeing. However, there are other ways, in addition to paid employment, of engaging older people in meaningful activity that can sustain their physical and mental wellbeing and benefit society more generally (Daily Telegraph, 10th February 2012).

"For example, CSV’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme (RSVP) involves over 15,000 older volunteers who give up their time, energy and passion to contribute to the growing needs of society.

"They are helping young children to learn English in inner city schools, working alongside teachers to improve the literacy in Primary schools across the UK, advising the doctors of tomorrow about senior people’s issues and mentoring young people who are not in education, employment or training.

"Our volunteers report a new sense of purpose and dynamic connection with society, demonstrating the win-win capacity of volunteering to improve the lives of individuals and communities at a time of significant demographic change, increasing social need and economic uncertainty. "

Barbara Locke
CSV Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme

Read the full article: Elderly told: go back to work and downsize