Brighton & Hove Services Mark National Befriending Week

Hilda and Emily smiling at each other LabIf you have never heard of befriending before then this is the time to learn about it: during National Befriending Week!

Locally there are several charities and faith groups who provide one to one befriending through the careful recruitment of volunteers. The volunteers are matched with people living in the community who feel isolated due to physical or mental ill-health, or who feel desperately lonely because they have no family or friends to regularly visit them. The results of which can be literally life-changing.

The Right Honourable Brighton and Hove Mayor Councilor Dee Simpson says: “It is no surprise that the Prime Minister recently launched the first ever Loneliness strategy to tackle a problem which is widely considered to be one of the greatest public health issues of our time.

“Whilst there is a lot of provision available for older people in our City, not everyone can get out to a lunch club or activities, which is why one to one befriending is so important for those who are most isolated and live alone. We are fortunate to have a number of Charities and faith groups in the City who provide befriending and I have seen firsthand just what a different friendship makes in an older person’s life.

“It is therefore with great pleasure that I celebrate and endorse the work being carried out across Brighton and Hove during National Befriending Week”.

On the 7th November 2018 a special event is being held to bring together organisations who provide befriending across Sussex. The aim of the event is to share good practice and develop an ongoing network or ‘Coalition’ where professionals and volunteers working within the field can learn from and support each other. Diane Claridge from the National Charity ‘Befriending Networks’ will be in attendance.

If we are to truly address this serious issue of loneliness in our City, it is important that we raise awareness. To find out more about befriending and how you could make a life-changing difference, please visit one or all of the following websites for further details.

Find out more: 

Neighbourhood Care Scheme: http://www.bh-impetus.org/projects/neighbourhood-care-scheme/

Time to Talk Befriending: www.tttb.org.uk

Impact Initiatives: http://impact-initiatives.org.uk/

Befriending Networks: https://www.befriending.co.uk/