A lot of elderly in the Netherlands experience loneliness and a lack of social contacts. This can be due to physical problems but also to mental issues, the fright of getting out there and meeting people. Estimates are that around one third of the elderly in the Netherlands feels lonely, which is a huge amount. We are trying to address this problem for some elderly in Utrecht by organizing fun weekly activities for groups of elderly.
The project is currently in the pilot phase. A location has been arranged in the Holy Trinity church near the Wilhelmina park in Utrecht. In the common room of this church our team organizes activities at which all elderly that want to participate are welcome. The activities that we host vary from poetry and literature readings to flower arranging and DIY’s, in this way we hope to reach as many elderly as possible.
The activities are meant to be something over which elderly can connect. We bring the elderly together with the activities but the main goal is not to provide them with an activity but with new social contacts. We hope that these elderly at some point start meeting each other outside the activities and that they will become less lonely in this way.
Our current team exists of six international students from UCU. Coming from all over the world, having different majors and being from different age, we have got a diverse team. Our projectleaders are Maaike Blom and Rachel Furman. Further our team consists of Dana Huibers (secretary) Kabir Sabharwal (social-media executive), Anne-Rosa Jürling (activity manager) and Maurits van Beek (PR-manager).
We are currently still in a state where we are trying to reach as many elderly as possible. If you know a (lonely) elderly that would like to participate in the activities or have any questions, contact us via:
T: +31 6 14121811