Action to ease burden of isolation

TRIP Community Transport Association, based in Honiton, is to roll out new services.

A NEW community project to help ease the isolation felt by some residents in the Honiton area has been given the go-ahead.

TRIP Community Transport Association is to roll out a programme of new services, starting with a befriending scheme, following an overwhelming response to a questionnaire.

TRIP’s chairman, Val Royle, said: “We are very pleased with the response to the questionnaire and this was more than we expected. It underlines a need for the project.

“But this project is not going to happen overnight.”

More than a quarter of respondents felt isolated, it has been revealed.

Responses highlighted a need for a greater range of local opportunities and activities, as well as a lack of available transport, which is limiting people’s opportunities to get out of the home.

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The first stage of the project will be to establish a Honiton-based befriending service, which will be offered free to the frail, isolated, lonely, housebound, bereaved and those with limited social contact.

If successful, a lunch club and a social centre could follow.

TRIP manager Neil Hurlock said: “We aim to get this set up and for it to be as sustainable as TRIP is.”

TRIP is looking for volunteers to facilitate a one-to-one befriending service, which is expected to be run on a referral basis and to those who ask for help.

Neil said: “We can’t do it on our own – we need assistance.

“Give us moral and practical support to help the project to succeed.”

To get involved in volunteering or fund-raising visit TRIP’s New Street office or call (01404) 46529. Any ideas for a suitable name for the project are also welcome.