Sid Valley befriending group saved by generous donation

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 October 2018

The Sidmouth swimathon. Picture: Bob Simmons

The Sidmouth swimathon. Picture: Bob Simmons


A group combating loneliness and isolation in the Sid Valley has been saved thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous benefactor.

The Befriend group was started two years ago as an off-shoot of the Sid Valley Memory Café and secured a £1,000 grant from Aviva to start its work to support carers, the cared-for and their relatives.

The group meets twice a month but was advised last month that its funding was running out.

A generous donor came forward and the group have also gained the support of the Rotary Club of Sidmouth with members offering financial aid and offering to co-ordinate the meetings.

John Summerside, a Rotarian and co-ordinator for the Befriend group, said: “The Befriend group was an instant hit and has provided the opportunity for the regulars to share stories and experiences.

“This is a good community service project. It’s the friendships that have developed between these people. Some people that come along they have dementia, or they are carers that are getting respite and there are others who enjoy having a chat and the company.

“They say to us they really get something out of it and that to us makes it a pleasure and well worth the while.

“The future looked bleak. Then a magnificent anonymous donation lifted the gloom and Befriends is able to continue the good work.

“So if you would like to join the informal gathering for a light-hearted chat about local matters, current affairs and other points of interest then get down to the Anchor.”

The group meets every other Friday at the Anchor Inn at 11am. The next meeting is Friday, October 26.

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