New service for Honiton’s isolated?

TRIP wants to plug gap left by closure of Age Concern Centre.

EFFORTS are under way to plug a gap in services, left when Honiton’s former Age Concern Centre closed.

TRIP Community Transport Association fears Government spending cuts will further isolate the elderly and lonely, and is launching a survey to find out if a new service should be developed in the town.

Premises are likely to be needed, if it is established that a befriending service and a lunch club are needed.

“There is so much need in the community for services to make life better for older and isolated people in the area,” said Neil Hurlock, TRIP’s manager.

“TRIP is just reacting to Government and council cutbacks.”

A questionnaire will be distributed around the town and people are being urged to play their part by filling it out.

Most Read

Mr Hurlock said: “We are seeing whether the demand is there and, if it is, to get things in place to fill that gap.”

The first step could involve setting up a help scheme and befriending service, which would provide a friendly point of contact for people.

This would then be followed by the establishment of a support group, such as a lunch club, to help improve quality of life for people in the area.

TRIP would then need to find a base for the services.

“Everyone we have spoken to has been in favour of it and wants to see that it goes forward – we don’t want to let them down,” said Mr Hurlock.

“We desperately need to get more information to support it and get the questionnaire filled out - to get the funds to start it off.

“It takes five minutes to fill it out, so play your part in developing a new service for Honiton.”

Val Royle, chairman of TRIP Community Transport Association: “It is by no means for definite.

“It is going to be a step-by-step process, starting off with a survey, which will determine whether or not we go ahead with it.

“If there is a positive response, we will take it further.”

Neil added: “Honiton shouldn’t be missing out. We want to get something there to support the community.”

For more information, or to offer your support, call TRIP on (01404) 46529.