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Could you befriend a local older person? Charity seeks volunteers

London SE1 website team

Blackfriars Settlement is looking for volunteers to work with older people.

Could you befriend a local older person? Charity seeks volunteers
Enjoying a day out with Blackfriars Settlement

The volunteers are needed urgently for home visiting as well as bringing their time and skills to regular club events at the new building in Rushworth Street.

The daytime clubs include a Forget-Me-Not Club where older people enjoy crosswords and mind games as well as discussions. With dementia problems being a high priority this scheme now desperately needs help.

On Fridays there is a special club for visually impaired older people where further pairs of hands are needed. On Sundays volunteers serve a roast lunch before helping with afternoon activities.

At present just one volunteer is having to meet the growing need for older people to be trained to use computers in order to access important information which increasingly is only available online.

But the most urgent need is for more volunteers for the befriending scheme. There are 25 people on the waiting list for visits who are at present only being contacted by phone. Daytime volunteers are particularly welcome.

In a bid to recruit volunteers, Blackfriars Settlement staff are to be found at an information stand at Asda in Old Kent Road on Tuesday mornings.

Potential volunteers who feel that they can offer at least six months commitment will receive training and be subject to DBS safeguarding checks.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer and befriender can contact Sophia Appleby on 020 7928 9521.

"The greatest gift you can give is your time," says colleague Tina Johnson. "It's a very rewarding thing."

Blackfriars Settlement is hosting a fundraising Swedish Christmas Buffet on Friday 28 November.

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