How drinking cocktails in care homes is reducing isolation

Cocktails in Care Homes is a project run by intergenerational charity Magic Me. They put on cocktail parties every Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6pm – 7.30pm in London care homes. Volunteers get to socialise, serve drinks and chat with residents. And have a drink themselves of course. They’re hoping to expand to other areas.

Cocktails
(Photo: by Paul Williams for People’s Postcode Lottery and Magic Me)

Chris Ali has been volunteering at Cocktails in Care Homes for over five years and is now a party manager:

“To be honest, when I first started volunteering I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. 6 years I ago I went from working multiple part-time jobs which took up almost all my time, to a full-time 35-hour a week job. Because of this I had an abundance of free time that I was struggling to fill (Netflix wasn’t a thing at the time) and was finding that I was becoming bored because of it. On my break at work one day I came across an article in the Metro which featured the “Cocktails in Care Homes” project being run by Magic Me, an intergenerational arts charity, which I went on to sign up to. At first it defiantly took some getting used to being in the care home environment and interacting with older residents as I had never experienced it before. But having been involved for 5 and a half years and running one of my own parties as a Party Manager, I feel considerably fortunate to have found this project to spend my time with. I’ve gained so much over my time spent on the project but by far the biggest thing I’ve gained is perspective. Like most people going through their 20s I’ve had moments of crisis of confidence, where I have felt upset or down about things like “the future”, or feelings of being lonely, or am I enough. But spending time and interacting with older people who many of them are suffering with their health and are lonely, just by me being there I can see the positive affect it has on them. Their appreciation of me being present, talking to them and showing kindness and care, and seeing some of how they live have allowed me to look at my life and really consider all the good things about my life. It has allowed me to gain a greater appreciation of my own family and, in particular, my mum, and to be a more loving, considerate and compassionate person. I am a better and much happier person than I was 5 years ago, and I owe a lot of that to volunteering.”

Contact: Phoebe Grudzinskas – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or Deborah Mason – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 020 3222 6064

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