Befriending charity needs more volunteers to help the isolated

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A charity based in Bedford helping isolated people needs more volunteers to become befrienders.

Friends for Life, based at Priory Methodist Church in Newnham Avenue, has seen rewarding growth since it was started in 2007.

The main aim of the charity is to support Bedfordshire’s care home residents by providing personal befrienders to visit residents who have few or no visitors.

Joanne Barrow, from the charity said: “Although care homes are exactly that - caring - many residents who perhaps have no surviving family or whose family do not live locally, can feel isolated from the ‘outside’ community. Friends for Life seeks to address that imbalance by recruiting, training and supporting volunteers to visit them.”

More than 40 volunteers are now visiting nearly 60 residents in 30 homes across Bedfordshire, but Friends for Life is still only covering the tip of the iceberg and is keen to recruit more volunteers to join the team.

Joanne added: “Being a personal befriender is one of the most flexible forms of volunteering suiting people of all ages and backgrounds. Volunteers decide their own visiting rota which can be anything from half an hour a fortnight, weekdays, weekends, daytime or evening. It is so rewarding and most volunteers say they get as much out of it as the friends they visit.”

If you would like to join the team, contact Joanne Barrow on 01234 213038 or visit www.friendsforlifebedford.org.uk