Here we already are at Day 4 of our Community Advert Calendar which is designed to highlight our campaign to Combat Social Isolation.

The campaign aims to show how each and every one of us can make a difference to combat the social isolation that many people with disabilities and mental health needs experience.

During the festive season, we are raising awareness of the benefits of being actively involved in your community.  Our recent research, conducted amongst the people supported by United Response, showed that many people feel very positive about being involved in their local community.  75 percent of survey respondents referred to mixing with other people, doing things together and feeling involved in their community.  It was clear that many regarded the support they received as a key enabler in terms of their community involvement.

Using a few of the simple steps we utilise on a daily basis, we are encouraging you all to act as agents of change in your communities, so on Day 4 we want you to offer someone you meet some help.

There are many ways you help in your community.  Remember, it is always nice to lend a helping hand.

Start today by offering to help around your home There are lots of ways to help at home, start with making your bed.  You can also tidy your room, put the shopping away in the cupboards, wash up or dry up and put away the dishes after breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Being part of a team makes you and everyone around you feel good. 

When you are out and about in your community  You can start with small steps by holding the door open for someone.  A simple “hello” or compliment to a person can really lift their spirit.

Sharing the load  You can always offer to help carry a friend’s shopping bags especially at this time of year when we are all doing a lot shopping.

Start volunteering If you have some free time, why not volunteer at your local church, community centre or even local charity shop. 

Xanthe Breen, senior press officer.