First befriending session held in Dunkeswell is a big success

PUBLISHED: 10:00 23 February 2020

TRIP Befriending Team members Janine Stedman, Julie Tame, Sandra Fox,Sharon Thorne and Neil Hurlock with befriender Len Styles (front left). Ref mhh 42 19TI 2215. Picture: Terry Ife

TRIP Befriending Team members Janine Stedman, Julie Tame, Sandra Fox,Sharon Thorne and Neil Hurlock with befriender Len Styles (front left). Ref mhh 42 19TI 2215. Picture: Terry Ife

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A new befriending hub which launched in Dunkeswell helped more than 30 isolated people make new friends and socialise.

The social session, held at The Aviator coffee house and restaurant at Dunkeswell Aerodrome, saw at least ten befrienders and trustees of Honiton transport charity TRIP, helped people to break down social barriers through conversation, reminiscing and laughter.

The project was made possible thanks to a £18,000 grant awarded to TRIP by the People's Postcode Lottery.

Dunkeswell was the first area to benefit from the befriending hub, and Janine Stedman, befriending coordinator at TRIP, said another date has been pencilled in for the second session.

A bus will take more users of TRIP back to The Aviator on Thursday, February 27.

Mrs Stedman said: "Once you start something its important you don't stop it. People want to come back and people knew they could come back in a month's time.

"The first was a big success because people arrived as strangers and left as friends.

"At one point during the session, everybody was busy talking and seemed to be happy. It was a eureka moment, because everyone was engaged and that's exactly what we were looking for.

"It was everything we hoped for and more."


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