Elderfriends is a befriending service, managed by the Volunteer Centre, aimed at lonely and socially isolated people who are over 50 years old and live in Chesterfield and NE Derbyshire. Volunteers are recruited to befriend people on a ‘good neighbour basis’, and undertake informal training in listening skills, barriers to listening and personal boundaries.

The Volunteer Centre has identified a number of typical areas in which help is needed, and as a volunteer, you could find yourself: visiting and keeping someone company, sharing a leisure activity, driving and escorting to places such as shops, doctors, hospitals opticians.

It may sound strange, but by simply swimming a few lengths of the Queen's Park Sports Centre pool, in Chesterfield, YOU could raise a valuable contribution to the Volunteer Centre's Elderfriends project - designed specifically to reach out to local, elderly, isolated people; using a network of dedicated volunteers.

More than 1 in 3 people aged 75 and over, say that feelings of loneliness are out of their control.

This project gives people a chance to be more than a volunteer, they can be a real friend, an invaluable resource for so many socially excluded people. It currently provides a service for 120 over 50 year olds, BUT it carries a waiting list of 400 and an estimated 1500 people who have yet to register.

Incredibly, funding for Elderfriends is actually decreasing year-on-year, while demand for the service increases. This has inspired us to launch the ‘Swim Against Loneliness’: an event to raise as much as possible, to make the greatest difference we can.

Ready to swim against loneliness? REGISTER HERE

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