Buddy scheme bridges intergenerational social distancing in Bexley for Orbit customers

Orbit is supporting a new initiative in Bexley aimed at bringing generations closer together virtually while social distancing guidelines are still in force.

While the workshops are on hold, InCommon Buddies will maintain much-needed contact across the generations in Bexley

InCommon Buddies has been created by social enterprise, InCommon, so that Bexley residents can remotely stay connected across the generations.

InCommon is funded by Orbit to host intergenerational workshops in its independent living schemes with local school children. But, due to the current coronavirus situation, all workshops have been suspended until further notice.

The new InCommon Buddies will mean that Orbit customers in those schemes can now take part in calls with some of the children who have previously visited them. The calls will be facilitated by a member of the InCommon team and will cover a different activity each session. Any parents of pupils from one of InCommon’s partner schools in Bexley who haven’t done so already are now being urged to sign up on its website, so that the child can pair up with an older resident.

Paul Richards, Group Customer Services Director, at Orbit said: “Residents across all our schemes in Bexley really enjoyed the workshops and having visits by local pupils. InCommon Buddies is an excellent way of continuing that contact without breaking any of the government advice on social distancing and I know that will mean a lot to our customers.”

InCommon is a social enterprise which aims to bring generations together and works with various boroughs across London.

Alongside working with Orbit on this new way of connecting with their older residents, InCommon is encouraging anyone to take part by sharing the activities for Buddies calls on its website every week. This means anyone can join in with older friends and relatives and the information can be found at incommon.org.uk