A new buddy-system is being launched in Ferndown and organisers are on the look-out for volunteers.
‘Ferndown Community Connectors’ is being headed by PramaLIFE, the community outreach programme, and aims to help those in the town who have lost confidence.
The ‘connectors’ will buddy-up with people who need company to visit new groups or societies, or help them with simple tasks.
Lynn Kenchington, Community Development Worker for Isolation and Loneliness at Dorset County Council, is backing the scheme.
She said: “All our volunteers will be trained and then they will be partnered with people in the community who they can help.
“Often it is very simple things, like just going for a coffee with someone or walking the dog with them.
“People can become lonely and anxious about doing things and they just need a bit of help to get their confidence.
“If someone has been bereaved or suddenly is unable to drive they might need a bit of help to start new things or even to catch the bus.
“It is not a long-term scheme, but merely helps people gain enough confidence for them to join a group or start doing something they’ve never done before or have got out of the habit of doing.”
Emma Regan from Douch Family Funeral Directors, which runs the Jolliffe branch in Ferndown, is on the working group.
She said: “Of course we deal with the bereaved on a daily basis and this scheme will make a lot of difference.
“So often we want to be able to help people more after dealing with a funeral and this will allow that to happen.
“Spending a bit of time with someone in order to hold their hand and improve their confidence is extremely simple but can change someone’s life.”
The steering committee organising the connectors is headed by PramaLife and includes AE Jolliffe and Son funeral directors, St Mary’s Church, counsellor Cindy Weller, Corbin Avenue Doctors’ Surgery, Penny’s Hill Practice, Early Help Care POPP/Help and Care, Adult and Communities DCC.
Pic caption: Members of the steering committee (l-r) Lesley-Anne Clements, RGN, Cindy Weller, accredited counsellor, Carol Davies, East Dorset manager of PramaLife, Emma Regan from Douch Family Funeral Directors, Lynn Kenchington, community development worker from Dorset County Council, Lynne Rees, pastoral care co-ordinator at St Mary’s Church and Debbie Horlock from the POPP early help programme
Note to editors: Douch Family Funeral Directors have been helping families with funeral arrangements for over 100 years. Branches include Douch & Small, A E Jolliffe & Son, Albert Marsh, James Smith, Ives & Shand and Lesley Shand Funeral Service. They’re based in Wimborne, Ferndown, Wareham, Poole, Upton, Wimborne, Swanage, Blandford and Corfe Mullen.
Editor’s Note: For more information please contact: Ed Baker, Deep South Media, on 01202 534487, or Ed Baker on 07788392965.