What would you do for your neighbours? Throw back a wayward ball that lands in your garden? Feed the cat when they’re away? Go round for tea and cake? 

It’s a strange irony that lonely individuals are often surrounded by others. Many older people feel isolated, even while those in their neighbourhoods live bustling lives as near as next door. If you never see a person, you might not realise that there is anything the matter with them. And yet isn’t there something wrong when a person lives so close to others and yet is never seen?

This is the issue that MHA will be addressing in a London conference, Where is My Older Neighbour? next month, in partnership with London Churches Social Action and The Project for Seniors and Lifelong Ministry. We will be looking at how prepared society, and church communities, are for our rapidly ageing population and what we can do – indeed, what some churches are already doing – to tackle the problems of loneliness, helplessness and boredom among our older neighbours. Speakers will include Care England Chief Executive Prof Martin Green, the Venerable Chris Skilton (Archdeacon of Croydon) and Pam Rhodes, Songs of Praise presenter and MHA Patron.

Anyone who is involved in or concerned about later life issues in a church, care or community setting is invited to join the conference, including health and social care professionals, chaplains, clergy and older people themselves.  For more information, visit https://www.mha.org.uk/get-involved/events/where-my-older-neighbour/ and follow the hashtag #whereismyolderneighbour on Twitter.


Rev Dr Keith Albans

Director – Chaplaincy and Spirituality

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