Your votes needed to boost project to combat loneliness in Sidmouth

Adrian Ford and Rachel Johnston from the Sid Valley Memory Cafe. Ref shs 04-16 AW 7714. Picture: Ale

Adrian Ford and Rachel Johnston from the Sid Valley Memory Cafe. Ref shs 04-16 AW 7714. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Sid Valley Memory Café is appealing for public support to win £1,000 to combat isolation and loneliness in the town.

The charity has entered into the Aviva Community Fund to land cash to launch a new initiative called Be-Friend.

The scheme is to support members who are on their own by offering trips out with volunteers outside of the memory café’s weekly sessions.

Rachel Johnstone, chairman of the memory café, said: “All we need to cover is the volunteer costs. Now we need to get the community behind us for our project, so it’s one of those chosen. It’s all down to having the highest number of votes to win the money.

“For many of our members, Sid Valley Memory Café is their only source of support and their connection to the community in which they belong.

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“Be-Friends is whole-heartedly driven by a real need in our community to support people who have been bereaved, whose loved one has moved into long-term care or who are feeling lonely for any other reason. As a charity led solely by volunteers, we really will make this grant go a long way towards improving the quality of life for carers and the cared for affected by dementia.”

Aviva will provide money for 800 projects of varying amounts, 300 of which will receive £1,000.

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To vote, residents need to create an account and will receive 10 votes to give to the causes of their choice.

Voting closes on Friday, November 18. Visit

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