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Half of lonely adults fear no one would notice if something happened to them

Care worker Pat Fisher with John Raven from Woodbridge Picture: BRITISH RED CROSS

Care worker Pat Fisher with John Raven from Woodbridge Picture: BRITISH RED CROSS

Archant

More than half of lonely adults in Suffolk and Norfolk fear no one would notice if something happened to them, a study has revealed.

John Raven, 83, with a photo of himself during his dancing days Picture: BRITISH RED CROSSJohn Raven, 83, with a photo of himself during his dancing days Picture: BRITISH RED CROSS

The Red Cross asked 4,000 adults across the two counties how they are feeling - with almost half (48%) saying they always, often or sometimes feel lonely.

Of those who said they were lonely, 67% said it was having a negative effect on their life while 70% worry their loneliness will get worse.

The Red Cross is in desperate need of volunteers and is urging anyone with free time to visit people who are living on their own.

One man who has benefited from the charity’s work is 83-year-old John Raven from Woodbridge.

Mr Raven enjoyed a colourful career as a ballet dancer and teacher - performing on stage throughout the 70s and 80s and training others to dance, including Bonnie Langford.

But he was left alone three years ago when his wife Peggy died.

“Loneliness is the worst thing for me,” he said.

“Especially when I go to bed at night and I miss having Peggy beside me.

“Things like her perfume - I didn’t think about it when she was alive, but I miss it now.”

Mr Raven recently spent three weeks at Ipswich Hospital and the Bluebirds Lodge care home after suffering a neck injury.

“I was very keen to get back home,” he said.

“But I didn’t realise how much more lonely I would be after having people around me all the time in hospital.”

Mr Raven was referred to the British Red Cross Support at Home service leading to visits from care worker Pat Fisher.

“I don’t think the loneliness will ever go away completely,” said Mr Raven. “But Pat has helped me to live with it.”

Mark Bradley, Independent Living Service Manager at the British Red Cross said they were in desperate need of volunteers to carry out their good work.

“We urgently need more volunteers to help us support more vulnerable people this winter,” he said.

“If you’re a compassionate, practical person with a bit of time spare and would like to make a real difference to people in your local community, we would love to hear from you.”

To find out more call 01473 219260 or text KINDNESS to 70141 to donate £5 to the cause.

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