KiB and COVID-19
Older people feel more alone and isolated than ever before now that care homes and most hospitals have cancelled visits. The crisis hasn’t stopped KiB: our singers are spreading cheer at a safe distance – on doorsteps, through windows, and in the streets.
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We now offer three different zoom sessions as part of our Volunteering from Home scheme. ‘Valuing Older People’ is approved by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Our specialist masterclasses add extra value if you’re working towards a career in healthcare. And our brand new ‘Zooming into Care Homes’ project is a great way to connect with older people, and share their stories.
Many people wrote to say they enjoyed the BBC News story about our intergenerational Zoom sessions – particularly the bit where children showed off their pets. We’re thrilled to say that Dame Judi Dench was one of them. She was inspired to send us a clip of her new parrot, Sweetie, to share with our students. We’ve already had an amazing response to this clip. Thank you Dame Judi!
Covid has caused untold loneliness, suffering and separation. But for many older people, the experience of spending long periods alone is nothing new. KiB students interviewed older friends and loved ones to uncover astonishing stories of isolation and loneliness from the past. The result is a new book called In My Day. It’s a gripping read – buy it for someone you love this Christmas!
Ever since the very first lockdown, KiB singers have been performing outside care homes and in hospital gardens across the country. Now we’ve created a sunny singalong video that captures the joy of these sessions. Please share with your older friends and relatives – and get the whole family singing along to our favourite vintage songs!
Our volunteering-from-home programme is developing at pace. We now offer three different zoom sessions. ‘Valuing Older People’ is approved by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Our specialist masterclasses add extra value if you’re working towards a career in healthcare. And our brand new ‘Zooming into Care Homes’ project is a great way to connect with older people, and share their stories.
KiB students have been interviewing older relatives about times of isolation and loneliness in their youth – from wartime evacuation to quarantine for deadly diseases. Now these stories are set to be published in an important collection called ‘In My Day, Memories of Isolation’, by the Stratford Literary Festival.
There’s a new look to our timetable of Zoom sessions. We’re still running regular zooms to support our volunteering-from-home programme (approved by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award). But we’re now also offering a host of specialist sessions and masterclasses. These new zooms give us the chance to delve more deeply into the challenges of old age, and look at how you can help support older people in your community – great for students who want to pursue a career in healthcare. Read on for more details.
We’re all feeling anxious under lockdown and missing friends and family. So let’s take advice from the people who lived through quarantine, homesickness and isolation 80 years ago. Help KiB capture inspirational wartime stories for a new generation to learn from and enjoy.
Help us spread messages of hope and togetherness. Send us your poetry, your artwork and your inspirational articles and we will share them with lonely older people to show them that the world still cares.
We’re running open evenings for DofE students who want to volunteer with us. If you’re working towards your Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, and you live in Birmingham or London, please join us to find out how you can sign up for healthcare volunteering experience through KiB.