Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 16°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Sudbury: Offering friendship and care for vulnerable at Christmas

10:51 24 December 2012

Volunteer befriender Majorie Bush with one of the women who benefit from the scheme.

Volunteer befriender Majorie Bush with one of the women who benefit from the scheme.

Archant

A VOLUNTARY organisation that provides friendship and care to vulnerable people has highlighted the need for its services, particularly during the festive period.

shares

The Sudbury-based Befriending Scheme, which offers Suffolk-wide drop-in centres and one-to-one friendship for people with mental health needs, older people and those with learning difficulties, has just launched a new website to make it easier for help to be accessed.

The charity is also urging people to make time for lonely or vulnerable Suffolk residents, especially over Christmas and New Year.

According to the organisation Friends of the Elderly, 500,000 older people spend Christmas Day on their own in the UK.

Many who are struggling to cope with escalating heating bills are facing a cold, lonely festive season this year.

In a survey carried out by the charity, almost one in four people questioned admitted they would not be including elderly relatives, neighbours or community members in their seasonal celebrations – and around 44% said it was because they didn’t have enough time.

Befriending Scheme chief executive Shirley Moore said a few hours a month of a volunteer’s time could make an enormous difference to a vulnerable person’s life.

“The people we provide services for often don’t have any family, which means that at a time like Christmas, they are likely to be very much alone,” she said.

“When we link people with a befriender, it can be life-changing and particularly so at this time of year.

“Without our volunteers, many vulnerable people would remain isolated and lonely.”

Lesley Gibson started visiting the Sudbury befriending hub after suffering bouts of depression and a nervous breakdown.

The 55-year-old, who also has learning difficulties, said she looked forward to the weekly befriending sessions, adding: “I enjoy going to the hub because you can just chat one-to-one and there’s no back-biting. You couldn’t ask for a better group of people.”

Marjorie Bush, 63, from Ipswich, has been a volunteer befriender with the scheme for the past seven years. She helps at the Ipswich hub every week, and with two women on a one-to-one basis.

She said: “I have one lady who I go and sit with while her parents go out and another who I take to bingo.

“I became a befriender because I found myself on my own with time to spare. I have to say it has given me a purpose and an interest, so it has improved my life too.”

To become a befriender, visit www.thebefriendingscheme.org.uk for more details.

shares

0 comments

The existing A14 in Cambridgeshire which is prone to congestion.

Suffolk MPs Therese Coffey and Jo Churchill have taken the case to upgrade the county’s busiest road to the Transport Department.

Chilton Meadows Residential and Nursing Home.

A nursing home in a Suffolk village has been found to have breached the health and social care act following an inspection from the Care Quality Commission.

Ashley Leech

A convicted armed robber described as causing “significant risk of serious harm to the public” has been given an extended jail term.

Ipswich Crown Court

An Ipswich man’s car was allegedly attacked by two men wielding baseball bats while he was sitting in the driver’s seat near his home, a court has heard.

The former Ipswich Airport site from the air

Work on a £1m project to speed up traffic between the A14 and Warren Heath in Ipswich starts today.

Lemons Hill Bridge, Tattingstone

The death of a 22-year-old man at Alton Water has been described as an accident waiting to happen by villagers.

Pupils at Grange Community Primary School participate in their sports day

An Olympic-style games week has taken place at a Suffolk primary school with a combination of races and team games being held.

The Script Thetford High Lodge 2015-104

Chart-topping Dubliners The Script were back at Thetford last night to kick-start a weekend of big-name open-air concerts at the forest venue.

A former 4th July Celebration at RAF Feltwell.

A popular July 4 celebration organised by American airbases in west Suffolk has been cancelled due to “local threats”.

New Street, Woodbridge

An 82-year-old woman from Leiston who died following a crash in New Street, Woodbridge, has been named by police.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages