It’s Befriending Week 2020, local charity Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin would like to take the opportunity to thank all of their befriending volunteers who have provided amazing support to older people throughout the pandemic.

During the start of the pandemic, in the first three months local befriending volunteers gave 1,300 hours of phone support to older people across Telford and Shropshire, as many of the services provided by the local charity were adapted to telephone support.

Lynn West, Volunteer Befriender said: “I do like talking to people. The main thing is to be a good listener. Volunteering does me good too. I find that since losing my husband, I can understand some of what people tell me. We really relate, and understanding is key’.

In the summer some of our befrienders started Covid-safe garden visits which were a great success and gave older people a real boost to have the 1-1 in person contact after such a long time. With the latest lockdown and further restrictions these will not continue, but befrienders will still be on the end of a telephone.

 Heather Osborne, Chief Executive of Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin, said: ‘We have had an outpour of support for older people during the pandemic from our befriending volunteers, indeed all our volunteers have been amazing during this difficult time. On behalf of Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin we thank everyone of our volunteers for all their hard work and dedication, we simply could not do what we do without you.’

To enquire about Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin befriending services you can call the charity on 01743 233 123 and leave a message with your name and telephone number.