The Tackling Loneliness Together programme will offer phone calls, online coffee mornings, socially distanced ‘garden gate’ conversations and a socially distanced walking service.
Head of Community at Wigan Athletic, Tom Flower, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has had such an impact on many lives and for some older people in the community it has meant they have become even more isolated.
“Throughout lockdown we have continued to support many areas of our community, including our older participants and supporters, maintaining their connection with their communities through telephone calls, delivery of activity booklets, or a short socially distanced catch-up over a garden gate.
“The Tackling Loneliness Together project allows us to continue this work and we are very grateful for the funding from the EFL Trust and DCMS to allow us to maintain support for some of the most vulnerable in the community.
“I would urge anyone who knows a neighbour, friend or family member that would benefit from this programme within the Wigan borough to get in touch with us.”
Last year, the EFL Trust launched the Extra Time Hubs movement to engage retired and semi-retired people to combat loneliness and inactivity.
Funded by Sport England, through the National Lottery, Latics have over 70 members who have been attending two sessions per week.
During the pandemic, Latics have been – and continue to – support older adults at risk of loneliness through a number of ways.
As of 1 July 2020, over 800 phone calls were made by Community Trust staff to elderly supporters to offer support, whilst over 150 goody bags were delivered to Extra Time Hub members with a number of activities to keep them physically and mentally active.