Tracey is raising awareness for the West Kent Befriending Service to help find new volunteers and bring together lonely members of the community.
The West Kent Befriending Service was a pilot project funded by Kent County Council.
For almost two years, Age UK and Maidstone Mind have been working together to provide a Befriending Service for people who live in West Kent, aimed at helping to reduce the loneliness and isolation felt by many people, both at home and within their local communities. Volunteer Befrienders are given guidance and ongoing support to visit people in their own home on average once a week for about one hour, offering companionship and support, in turn helping to raise self esteem and build confidence. The service currently supports 86 people who are receiving regular visits, although they also assisted over 100 other people by short term befriending or introducing them to other services. Sadly, there are currently over 100 people still waiting and Tracey is helping to raise awareness to welcome more people to volunteer. The Kent Messenger has recently supported the campaign named ‘Give the Gift of Friendship’ over forty volunteers have come forward since the beginning of November.
Tracey said: "Many of you will have seen the John Lewis Christmas advert and it is important we appreciate that this is an issue for all year round and not just christmas. I am however glad that Christmas is being used as an opportunity to raise awareness around the campaign to end loneliness and would encourage anyone interested to make contact with the West Kent Befriending Service and see how they may be able to volunteer, however much time they can spare."
If you would like more information on how you may be able to volunteer, please visit the West Kent Befriending Service on facebook here or call 0800 048 4668/ 01622 753 618