Member of Parliament for Clwyd South, Simon Baynes today highlighted the “excellent” work of the Rainbow Centre in Penley at Health and Social Care Questions in the House of Commons.
He asked Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, whether he agreed that combating loneliness is vital to ensuring the health and wellbeing of elderly people, something Simon has seen first-hand in the work of the Penley Rainbow Centre. Although the Rainbow Centre has been unable to open throughout lockdown, their volunteers have been able to make home visits and welfare calls as well as meals on wheels, and advice and support with mental health and well-being.
Mr Baynes also mentioned the charity he helped set up called ‘Concertina – Music for the Elderly’, which helps overcome loneliness by providing live music to care homes and day centres across England and Wales. (www.concertinamusic.org.uk/)
In response, Health and Social Care Secretary, Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, said:
“When we set up the Loneliness Strategy in 2018, when I was the Culture Secretary, I had no idea that something like COVID-19 would make it so vital.
“COVID has underlined the importance of loneliness as an issue which we must directly and actively tackle.”
Speaking later, Simon Baynes MP said:
“I’ve been involved in combating loneliness among the elderly through Concertina – Music for the Elderly for over 25 years. Music not only brings joy to people but is also one of the best ways to communicate, particularly with people suffering from dementia.
“Last week, we marked Loneliness Week, which is a problem at the best of times for many elderly people but has been particularly acute during the Coronavirus crisis. It shows just how important the work by organisations like the Penley Rainbow Centre is in making elderly and vulnerable residents feel part of our community at this difficult time.”