Volunteers needed to help elderly people in Portsmouth

The Strand in central London was cordoned-off after some 1,450 people were evacuated from a nightclub and a hotel following a gas leak. Picture: London Fire Brigade/PA Wire

NATIONAL: 1,450 people evacuated in central London following gas leak

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A SCHEME that provides valuable company to elderly people in Portsmouth is looking for more volunteers to help.

The city’s Salvation Army runs the Good Neighbours programme, where volunteers visit vulnerable people to have a friendly chat and a cup of tea.

The service needs more volunteers to keep up with demand.

Julie Minter, manager of the scheme, said: ‘We have 80 volunteers that go out, but it would be lovely if we had more.

‘Our clients can be referred from GPs, social workers, churches or family members and then we come out and speak to the person.

‘We take down details, like their background and interests, then match a volunteer to suit their profile.’

One user is 93-year-old Kathy Jones, of Plymouth Street, Somers Town, who has been visited by volunteer Sue Bryant for three years.

Mrs Jones said: ‘I love Sue’s visits. I’ve always been quite a quiet soul really, but she really brings me out of myself.

‘I love to chat about anything and everything with her, and I often like to reminisce over my memories with her.

‘Sometimes we put on some music and just sit back and enjoy it together with a cup of tea. I love our time together.’

Sue, 63, said: ‘I love to look after people, it’s so rewarding to help someone and know it’s made a difference to their day.’

To find out more call (023) 9289 0958 or visit salvationarmy.org.uk.