New befriending service launched
TRIP Community Transport Association start building up a new service for the vulnerable and lonely.
A new service to help the vulnerable and lonely has been launched in Honiton.
The new befriending initiative being rolled out by TRIP Community Transport Association has started, however the project is still in its infancy.
It was set up following an overwhelming response from a questionnaire which was distributed in the town.
The manager of TRIP, Neil Hurlock, said: “The service is up and running but we are building it steadily rather than rushing. We want to make sure it is right. We are looking at running something that is long term rather than short term.”
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The project aims to provide companionship and support for people in Honiton and East Devon and will be offered free to the frail, isolated, lonely, housebound, bereaved and those with limited social contact.
TRIP chairman Val Royle added: “We are very aware of the need for the service and we are trying to meet that need. It is taking longer than we thought but it has to be right.”
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Volunteers have already started visiting people in their homes.
As part of the befriending service volunteers visit people once a week for a friendly chat or take people to local groups and activities, or help them to continue or start a new hobby.
The service currently has 13 volunteers who have undergone training to become befrienders.
Those using the service will be responsible for their own expenses for activities, which may include car parking charges if they go on any outings.
Befrienders are not able to do household chores or act as a personal carer to people using the service.
Discussions are currently under way to find a suitable venue to hold a lunch club, which will be an additional service rolled out as part of the befriending service.
For more information or to get involved in volunteering visit TRIP’s New Street office or call 01404 46529.
The project’s volunteer co-ordinator Carole Smyth is also keen to recruit an IT-skilled volunteer. Anyone interested is urged to call Carole on 07866519979.
TRIP is awaiting the arrival of its new ring and ride bus, which has taken four years of fund-raising to purchase, and should be on the road by March. It is expected to be used for longer journeys, particularly its new weekend excursions.