New group to provide lifeline for the lonely
Isolated and lonely pensioners could soon be benefiting from the launch of a new service being backed by Newmarket-based volunteers.
The Voluntary Network, based in the town’s All Saints Road, has this month teamed up with national charity Age UK to operate a new befriending service in the West Suffolk area.
Volunteers will be recruited and trained to visit people in their own homes on a weekly basis, offering companionship and support and providing regular ongoing visits.
The service organisers said such “low level intervention” provided a valuable lifeline to people who otherwise could go days without seeing or speaking to anyone.
“Our service provides a lifeline to many vulnerable people in our community,” said befriending co-ordinator Terri Hardy.
“It can make a massive difference to people and can greatly improve their sense of wellbeing. It is their link to the outside world and something that people really look forward to.
“By joining forces with Age UK Suffolk we can also directly link older people into additional support, information and advice if needed, to help them to maintain their independence.”
Referrals can be made to the service by anyone including GPs, health professionals, social services, families, or self-referrals.
A simple referral form is submitted and the client is then visited by the befriending co-ordinator from TheVoluntary Network to explain the service.
“These visits help us to match the client with the most appropriate volunteer and also to identify if any additional help or support can be offered,” said Terri. “Introductions are then made and The Voluntary Network continues to provide support to both the client and volunteer.
“We believe that the introduction of the befriending service complements the existing community transport services that The Voluntary Network operates,” she added.
The Voluntary Network is looking to recruit new volunteers to be part of the befriending service and to help with its community transport scheme.
If you would like to find out more, make a referral or volunteer, call Terri Hardy on 01638 608048.
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Weather for Newmarket
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 9 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North