Wokingham Borough Council has come to the aid of local befriending charity The Link Visiting Scheme (LVS), providing them with new accommodation after their previous office space was no longer available.
LVS, who currently support 330 residents with an average of 15 new referrals each month, were in desperate need of new accommodation to continue to provide support to vulnerable adults across the borough with the help of 270 local volunteers.
The council has assisted LVS to move into their new offices this week near Wokingham town centre where they can now continue to provide a personalised visiting and befriending service to lonely and isolated adults, including those with various disabilities.
The Link Visiting Scheme promotes friendship and improves the health, wellbeing and independence of their “Link Friends”. With support from the council, the team works flexibly to meet the needs of individuals and enable them to feel part of the community and maintain independence.
“We are proud to support services like The Link Visiting Service who enable us to help some of our most vulnerable residents to establish new relationships, have fun and understand they are valued and an important part of our com¬munity,” said Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member for health, wellbeing and adult services.
“I would encourage anyone who is feeling isolated or lonely for what every reason to reach out to our friends at the Link Visiting Scheme and I thank all of our residents who give their time as volunteers to this wonderful charity.”
LVS organises a wide range of social activities including monthly pie and pint clubs at various pubs across the borough, weekly coffee mornings and a very popular initiative “Friends For Ages” where they bring together pre-school children and Link Friends.
The team also host a Christmas Day lunch, with over 90 people attending last year, most of whom would otherwise have spent Christmas Day alone.
Marjie Walker, manager at LVS said: “We understand and see every day the health benefits from confronting loneliness and isolation, and our wide-ranging preventative approach can have amazing health benefits, helping to minimise the need for social care and health services further down the line.
Our success is built on the massive contribution from hundreds of volunteers and we would encourage anyone thinking of becoming a volunteer to please get in touch, it is so rewarding and our volunteers often say they get as much out of the friendships they make as their Link Friends.”
To find out more about the Linking Visiting Scheme, who are now located at Westcott Annex, Westcott Road, Wokingham, RG40 2ER, please visit www.linkvisiting.org/