Sid Valley HELP offers new activities to prevent social isolation

Di Fuller collecting for Sid Valley HELP. Ref shs 15 18TI 0989. Picture: Terry Ife

Di Fuller collecting for Sid Valley HELP. Ref shs 15 18TI 0989. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sid Valley HELP, a service offering support, advice and companionship, has introduced new activities to combat loneliness.

The organisation was set up less than two years ago, and is due to celebrate its first AGM as a registered charity in September.

It provides a website giving information on all local health and care support services in the area, and, where there are gaps in local provision, sets out to fill them.

One of these areas was the prevention of loneliness.

Di Fuller, chairman of the Sid Valley HELP trustees, said:

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"This can affect young and old alike, but increases for those with a long-term health condition or a disability, for those undergoing big life changes, and if they are caring for others."

The recently-introduced activities include a weekly drop-in tea and chat session on Thursday afternoons from 3pm until 4pm at the Mustard Seed Café in All Saints Road. This is open to anybody in need of a chat and a friendly face.

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There is also a 'new mums' session on Monday afternoons from 1pm until 3pm at the Stowford Children's Centre, where the mothers of babies aged up to 12 months can share experiences and make new friends. The next meeting is on Monday, September 2.

Monthly coffee mornings take place at The Elizabeth Hotel on the first Saturday of each month. This group is for ladies between 50 and 70 years old looking for like-minded people to share a coffee and chat and broaden their social life. The next session will be on Saturday, September 7, from 10.30 until 12.30.

Di Fuller said:

"People who may enjoy our services are those who live alone, who are recently bereaved or separated, have recently retired, who have few friends, have recently moved here, have a long term illness or a disability or who have maybe lost their confidence to go out and meet people.

Sid Valley HELP also offers a home befriending service for the under 60s who are housebound or feeling isolated.

Di Fuller said: "Our friendly and dedicated volunteers offer regular company and conversation in your home. All queries will be followed up and a suitable volunteer matched to the person's needs. Call 07786 816890 if you would like more information."

For more information on any of Sid Valley HELP's services, email or phone 01395 892 011 or 07378 964 521.

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