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  • Oliver Hodgson

Combatting Loneliness with a brand new 'buddy' concept

A new concept to combat loneliness has been launched in Cumbria providing a ‘buddy’ service for the elderly with all expenses covered.

Bellcare Domiciliary Services said that due to the coronavirus restrictions their clients were feeling lonely as they can't see family and, in some instances, their family don’t live local.

Bellcare make various scheduled visits to their clients but with the Coronavirus pandemic their clients haven’t been able to be ‘out’ as much.

Registered Manager, Debbie Ellwood explains: “With current Coronavirus restrictions some of our elderly clients have highlighted that they miss seeing people’s smiles and having a good old Cumbrian craic. Some of our clients don’t have family and the only people they see at the moment is the Bellcare carers. We have also noticed a sharp increase in service users becoming low and depressed as well as feelings of isolation are a real problem.”

“To prevent our clients feeling lonely we have decided to launch ‘Bellcare Buddies’ which is a volunteer led project to try and tackle loneliness within our communities. Volunteers just need to be chatty, friendly, up for a laugh and have some interesting tales!”

Bellcare are on the search for volunteers from across west and north Cumbria including, Maryport, Wigton, Workington, Whitehaven, Keswick, Penrith and Eden. They are looking for people who would enjoy sparing a couple of hours a week to visiting and chatting with the elderly and those feeling a little lonely in the volunteer’s nearby area.

Debbie added: “Retired people who have a little more time on their hands would be great, but all ages are welcome to get in touch. We will process all DBS checks, obtain references, and provide training and a company induction to all volunteers. All of the chosen ‘Bellcare Buddies’ will be issued with an I.D badge which they will need to show on arrival.”

The care agency will be running the project including paying for volunteers travel costs to/from the locations, DBS checks and all associated training costs. The company invites those who are interested to get in touch by emailing or calling 01900 872030.

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