Grant allows AGE UK to rally befriending efforts in Shaftesbury


Thanks to a recent grant, AGE UK North, South & West Dorset is now actively seeking volunteers to join their befriending service in the Shaftesbury region.

The Dorset Community Foundation’s Corton Hill Fund has given the charity a financial boost to help the project combat loneliness and seclusion within local communities.
An array of support will be made available, including home visits from the Independent Living advisor, who will offer crucial guidance and refer individuals to services that encourage self-reliance and overall wellbeing. Recognising the significant toll that loneliness and seclusion can have on physical and mental health, the charity hopes the project wall pave the way for people to access the support they need.
Community Engagement Manager, Rachel Weiss, said: ‘We are hopeful that this project can support those in the Shaftesbury area who are experiencing loneliness and isolation. We can ensure that those who need support know where to go, as well as supporting people with befriending and social opportunities. We are incredibly thankful to the Corton Hill Fund and Dorset Community Foundation for the opportunity.’
Presently, the charity has more than 100 befrienders spread across North, South, and West Dorset, but a mere three in the Shaftesbury area. The charity is now looking for more to support their efforts to tackle loneliness in communities: ‘We have lots of requests for befriending support,’ says Rachel. ‘But we are always looking for more volunteers who may have some spare time each week to make a difference to the life of a local older person. It might be a simple chat over a cuppa, or a walk around the local park. These seemingly-small social opportunities can make all the difference.’
For further details about the project, or to inquire about volunteer opportunities in Shaftesbury, call 01305 269444 Monday to Friday 10 til 3.
If you live in Sturminster Newton or its surrounding villages, Age Concern North Dorset provides the befriending service there. Please contact them on 01258 475582.

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