Last Friday at Orchard Surgery, I met up again with the team who established Horsham District Befriends with active support from the Surgery, Horsham Citizens Advice (who hosted the project) and (virtually) our local Age UK.
Horsham District Befriends matches those who are feeling lonely or who would benefit from some company with volunteers who are able to help get them into activities and being part of the local community. Horsham District Befriends’ youngest user is 25 years old and their eldest is 96 as sadly, regardless of our age, we can all feel the effects of loneliness and social isolation.
In the first year of Horsham District Befriends much has been learnt. The scheme is looking to the future and how it can continue to grow and I am pleased that going forward Age UK will be managing the scheme and able to use their expertise into helping the project’s continued success.
I am sure Age UK will be providing more details in due course but I have been assured that Horsham District Befriends will remain available for all 18+ year olds living in the local area.
It has been a great project that has showed its value, especially in close collaboration with GPs and I am delighted it now has a permanent footing and support via Age UK. It was great to hear from them on Friday their commitment to Horsham Befriends and determination to drive it forward.