Darlington Hippodrome to tackles loneliness – with support from Care Matters Homecare

To coincide with Loneliness Awareness Week (June 10-16), Darlington Hippodrome has unveiled Matinee Matters to promote companionship.

The initiative is supported by Care Matters Homecare, which is part of the Newlands Group, and rated ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission.

The idea is for the theatre to host a series of informal social gatherings before selected matinee performances to combat isolation.

Theatre spokesperson, Julian Cound, said: “It’s the perfect fit to launch this important initiative in partnership with a local company that already provides vital support for isolated people.

“By definition, Care Matters Homecare is a company that cares, and it has shown that by supporting the theatre in performing this valuable community service. Matinee Matters will enable like-minded people to chat, laugh, make new friends, and share thoughts on shows at Darlington Hippodrome.”

Care Matters Homecare Managing Director, Lisa Spark, added: “While providing domiciliary care services in Darlington and the wider area, we see every day how much people value human contact.

“They often just want the chance to chat to someone, maybe over a cuppa, and Matinee Matters follows that same principle. When we heard about the initiative, we felt it was completely in line with our aim to provide empathetic care that makes a real difference.

“Our staff receive two volunteering days annually as part of our corporate social responsibility commitment. As part of that, Care Matters Homecare is looking to launch a befriending scheme, making calls to isolated people, and there’s a clear opportunity to promote Matinee Matters through those enhanced connections.”

Free Matinee Matters sessions will take place an hour before selected performances. The session can be easily added to ticket bookings online, by phone, or in person at the box office.

Dates are: What The Butler Saw (Thursday, June 20, 1pm); The Haunting of Blaine Manor (Saturday, June 29, 1.30pm); The Mousetrap, (Thursday, July 25, 1pm); Sister Act (Thursday, September 12, 1pm); Ghost (Wednesday, September 25, 1pm); An Inspector Calls (Wednesday, October 2, 1pm); Cluedo 2 (Thursday, October 10, 2pm) and Blood Brothers (Thursday November 14).

Thanks to Care Matters Homecare, Matinee Matters refreshments will be provided in a room at the theatre.

The initiative has been welcomed by Darlington man Ken Longstaff, who receives round-the-clock care from Care Matters Homecare, after suffering from a neurological condition.

Ken said: “My principal carer, Anne Hankin, is not only a source of priceless care, but she’s become a great friend too, and that companionship means so much. Lots of people face isolation, so I think Matinee Matters is a wonderful idea.”

Follow the link to read the full article.

Date posted: June 10, 2024

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