Volunteers needed to help the isolated and lonely

TRIP needs more help to ensure its new be-friending service continues to grow.

A new be-friending service for the isolated and lonely is looking for volunteers to get it started.

The ACORNS befriending service, which is being rolled out by Honiton-based TRIP Community Transport Association, is continuing to expand as demand grows.

TRIP manager Neil Hurlock said: “We now have several people waiting for our services and, as a result, are looking to recruit additional volunteers to help deal with demand for people to carry out home visits, chat and have a cuppa, or to give support to isolated people by helping them to go on outings.”

The project aims to provide companionship and support for the frail, isolated, lonely, housebound, bereaved and those with limited social contact.

It will be offered free to people in Honiton and East Devon.

As part of the service, volunteers visit people in their homes once a week for a friendly chat or take them to local groups and activities.

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Those using the ACORNS service will be responsible for their own expenses.

Pictured is befriender Gill Jackson, who has been a voluntary car driver for 12-months.

Gill works two days a week but still manages to spare a couple of hours a week to help with the voluntary car and befriending services.

Mr Hurlock added: “The time commitment is as large or small as you want it to be, from an hour per week to a couple of hours per day and anything in-between - it’s what you want to commit.”

A new induction session for volunteers is being held in the Kings Court meeting room on Thursday, May 24.

For more information, call volunteer co-ordinator Carole Smyth on 07410 618482 or Neil Hurlock on 01404 46529. Alternatively, pop into the TRIP office in New Street.