Honiton charity awarded grant to help tackle loneliness in rural areas

  Posted: 14.08.19 at 12:52 by Hannah Corfield

TRIP Community Transport has been awarded £18,000 for an exciting new project, taking the established Honiton Befriending Scheme out to rural areas. 

This project has been made possible by an award from Postcode Community Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. 

Speaking on behalf of Trip Befriending, Janine Stedman said: "With the amazing funding support from Postcode Community Trust, TRIP will work to breakdown the cycle of loneliness and rural age-related isolation, encouraging individuals to become more active in their community, by matching befriender to befriendee.

"We will provide accessible transport, supporting befrienders to engage in rural areas and activities, establishing a guided friendship in the befriendees own homes."

The idea is to support the befriendee’s future engagement with other community activities such as Community Hubs, Mum & Toddler groups, Memory Cafes, ‘Men in Sheds’ etc.

"We will work alongside established Community Groups, supporting these relationships," Janine added.

This is to encourage more people, through TRIP’s community transport provision, to enable them to take part in and enjoy local groups and events. 

TRIP Befriending, by working alongside multi-agency groups, will be promoting the project through all media channels and networking.

There will be a move to recruit, train, supervise and mentor both volunteer befrienders and drivers for this project. 

It is an inclusive, intergenerational and integrated project supporting people of all ages to interact and engage with each other for the benefit of the entire community.

Carole has been befriending for seven years and enjoys it immensely. She said: “The best thing is that the Befriendees all say they enjoy the company and being able to talk to someone. 

"I have lots of very good memories from my experience over the years and I am still enjoying visiting people.

"It is wonderful to walk on Honiton High Street and meet so many people out and about who may not have had the opportunity to do that were it not for their befriender.

"TRIP Befriending service is important because it gives people the opportunity to talk candidly to people who aren’t their family.” 

The service is looking to work more closely with Feniton and Payhembury from August.

If you are interested, or want more information about this project, please call in or contact Janine 07841525646, Sharon 01460 46529 or [email protected]

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