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Older people enjoying later life thanks to new befriending service

31st October 2016

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

A new befriending service in west Wales is going from strength to strength as thousands of older people from across the area celebrate the success of the initiative after an estimated 75,000 over 65s describe themselves as lonely.

The West Wales Befriending Links project is opening its doors to over 65s across west Wales to supporting and encouraging them to set up their own activity groups. Whether it be a knitting groups from the comfort of rise and recline chairs, or a ballroom dancing group at the local community hall, it’s a perfect chance to meet new friends and find something different to try. 

Rebecca Thomas, project manager of West Wales Befriending Links project, told the County Echo: “Loneliness and isolation seriously impact upon the health and wellbeing of older people. These new groups, and the friendships that they have fostered, have created new routines, and prevented further loneliness and isolation.

Our groups have focused on helping older people to become better connected and more resilient. We have been able to provide information and advice as well as link to other services in the community.”

In the run up to the festive season, the project is a great resource for those living in the area to combat the ever-increasing problem of loneliness amongst over 65s across the UK. The project is enabling those who would often find themselves sat in front of their TV screens alone, to get out and about, boosting their confidence and self-esteem.

One of the group members, Rhian Davies, 78, told the County Echo that the service has given her a new lease of life and said that it has “brought me out of my shell” as she joined a knitting and friendship club run by the charity.

Since the start of the project there have been over 200 meetings of people taking part in in walking, creative writing, Tai Chi and lunch clubs across Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion – all run by 90 volunteers.