Portsmouth charity's thanks to The News for helping vulnerable older people

THE News has been thanked for encouraging scores of volunteers to help isolated elderly people.

Friday, 6th May 2016, 6:06 am
Volunteer Chris Williams with David Ord, taking part in The News campaign last year

Our Christmas campaign to stop the loneliness of the thousands of older people in our communities was a huge success.

Now the Salvation Army has thanked The News and called on others to volunteer their time to support someone in their area.

Rosalyn Fraser, from the Salvation Army’s Good Neighbours befriending service said: ‘We have seen a steady rise in volunteers who have been moved by what they read and decided to take action and help tackle this growing issue.

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Rosalyn Fraser, the co-ordinator of the Good Neighbours scheme in Portsmouth

‘We are delighted to report that we have introduced over 50 new volunteers to socially-isolated people in the Portsmouth area since Christmas.

The News campaign helped highlight the issues surrounding social isolation and the consequences this may have – loneliness, emotional isolation and depression.’

The Salvation Army’s Good Neighbours befriending service is funded by Portsmouth City Council with the purpose of alleviating loneliness.

It provides a volunteer who visits people in their home on a regular basis.

Rosalyn Fraser, the co-ordinator of the Good Neighbours scheme in Portsmouth

A home visit lasts one or two hours a week.

The intention is for the individual to maintain an element of independence and wellbeing through the support and input of the service.

Good Neighbours offers a telephone support service for those who may not want or need a befriender once a week but who require some kind of support.

Ros added: ‘The impact that a volunteer befriender can have on a lonely individual is amazing.

‘For many of our clients, volunteer befrienders are the only people in their lives who can offer quality time for a chat and a cuppa, or a nice talk on the telephone.

‘I would love to say a very big thank you to all our lovely volunteers who support us.

‘But the need for more volunteers is still great so we would like to encourage anyone who is interested and has a little spare time to contact us.’

If you are interested in volunteering call (023) 9289 0958 or email [email protected]