Funding needed to help the lonely

A be-friending service based in Honiton is to seek funding to help keep up with increasing demand.

A be-friending service for the lonely and isolated in Honiton and surrounding villages is seeking more funding to ensure it is able to keep up with increasing demand.

ACORNS, which is run by TRIP Community Transport Association, has made applications for additional funding to pay for a part-time administrative assistant to support the project’s voluntary co-ordinator Carole Smyth.

The assistant will help cut down time spent on paperwork and assist in recruiting more volunteers.

The chairman of TRIP, Val Royle, said: “We have had more people wanting be-frienders than we can cope with at the moment.

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She added: “What we are trying to achieve is help for Carole.”

Carole currently deals with the recruitment of volunteers and the administrative side of the service, as well as acting as a be-friender to three people.

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Mrs Royal said: “We are trying our hardest to get the funding to help move things along. I think we will be able to achieve a lot more.”

She also told the Midweek Herald that the service was being outstripped by demand and more volunteers were needed for a number of people awaiting be-frienders.

By recruiting more volunteers TRIP hope to be able to meet the high demand for the ACORNS service, especially in the surrounding rural areas.

Ideally volunteers should have access to their own transport - expenses will be reimbursed.

For more information on becoming a be-friender call 07410 618482.

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