Volunteers, supporters and older people who use the charity have welcomed the news that Link Age Southwark is to be the new name for Dulwich Helpline & Southwark Churches Care.

The charity, based at Dulwich Hospital, chose the new name to better reflect its work and the range of services it offers to more than 500 over-60s in Southwark.

Link Age Southwark keeps older people connected to their local community by providing regular home visits from a dedicated group of volunteers and running 20 groups with activities ranging from crafts and computers to singing and yoga. Volunteers also accompany older people on trips to the shops or to non-medical appointments, as well as offering help around the house and garden, and lifts to social events.

The people who use Link Age Southwark pay nothing.

Link Age Southwark wants to reach more people across the borough and get more volunteers involved in supporting older people in their local community. The charity has a dedicated service for people with mild to moderate dementia who are living independently. Link Age Southwark has also launched a drive to recruit volunteers to talk to older people over the phone.

Katharine St John-Brooks, Chair of Link Age Southwark, said:

“This is the start of an exciting new chapter for us. Southwark is such a vibrant and diverse London Borough but there are still too many older people suffering from loneliness and isolation. The good news is that it is also home to many wonderful people who are willing to give up some spare time to help, whether it’s to pop round for a cup of tea and a chat, to give someone a lift to a social event they couldn’t get to alone, or to help in the office. We are busier than ever and I see the charity going from strength to strength as Link Age Southwark.”

Dame Tessa Jowell, Honorary President of the charity, said:

“We all hope that age won’t catch up with us, but when it does we’ll be thankful for the work of charities like Link Age Southwark. Its work with older people in the community is so valuable and the volunteers get a lot out of it too. I hope the new name helps attract more volunteers to build stronger links in the community and bring friendship and conversation back into the lives of even more older people across Southwark.”

Iris, who is 86 years old and uses Link Age Southwark, said:

“I like the new name because it’s simple, easy to remember and reflects the wonderful work that the charity and its volunteers do. The charity has been a lifeline for me. Without volunteers to take me out and a social group to go to I would be completely housebound. Thanks to Link Age Southwark I’m able to get out of the house, build friendships, and meet people of all ages in the local community. When I was younger I helped older people in so many ways, and I urge everyone to get involved with Link Age Southwark and support the incredible work it does.”

The charity will formally become known as Link Age Southwark on Monday 19 October but there has been an extensive engagement process to make sure everybody is ready for the change.

You can find out more about the charity, its history and the new name by visiting www.linkagesouthwark.org.

If you want to find out more about volunteering with Link Age Southwark, please email info@linkagesouthwark.org