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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Since the very first lockdown, we’ve been working hard to make sure that our students could still make a difference to the lives of isolated older people. It’s been a huge challenge, but we’ve learned a lot. Now we’ve made a short film looking back at what we did and how we did it. Thanks to the thousands of young people who who joined in – this film is dedicated to you.
In Yorkshire, we’re running a unique creative project, funded by the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by the National Lottery. The scheme is bringing music, drama, companionship and joy to older people across the region.
Are you looking for a way to make a difference from home? Kissing it Better’s unique Volunteering from Home scheme lets you gain valuable volunteering experience remotely – perfect for your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award & UCAS statement. Taking part in our programme will also boost your CV and enhance your understanding of the challenges of healthcare.
To mark World Poetry Day, KiB students have been lighting up lockdown for older people by creating original poems on the theme of happiness. The result is a collection of wonderful works full of hope and human connection.
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.