Age UK West Kent Befriending Awarded Community Grant of £500

Published: 22/05/2019

We are delighted to announce that Age UK West Kent Befriending Service has been awarded our community grant of £500 on 4th August 2016. The grant was awarded at a special tea party event that was held at Town Lock Day Centre, Tonbridge that was attended by 30 people including Cllr Mark Rhodes, Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling who has Age UK as one of his designated charities.

We are delighted to announce that Age UK West Kent Befriending Service has been awarded our community grant of £500 on 4th August 2016.

The grant was awarded at a special tea party event that was held at Town Lock Day Centre, Tonbridge that was attended by 30 people including Cllr Mark Rhodes, Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling who has Age UK as one of his designated charities.

West Kent Befriending Service supports individuals right across West Kent with a much valued befriending services that make a big difference to the lives of those supported.

The service is managed by a team from Age UK West Kent and Maidstone Mind who match up volunteers who can spare 1 – 3 hours of their time each week to spend with an individual. Volunteers are given a full induction and fully supported by the West Kent Befriending team.

The grant of £500 will go towards the running costs of the service and, as such, help to combat loneliness amongst older people.

Of the service, one volunteer explained that:
‘I enjoy and look forward to my visits, I have to call my member when I get back home as he worries about me getting back safe. We always have a great chat’


One member who has an allocated befriender explained that:
‘My Befriender means the world to me, she has given me a new zest for life and a new aspect of the world.’

Wendy Pfieffer, West Kent Befriending Service Manager said:
‘The West Kent Befriending Service was originally set up as a pilot project to see if there was a need for befriending across West Kent, as of today we have supported over 500 people which is evident to the value of the service.
 
The pilot has now ended and we are very grateful for Bluebird Care for their support to help us maintain the work we do’
Since we, opened in 2012 we have been working hard to support other organisations across Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells, as well as providing a daily care service to local people.
 
Claire Stanley, Care Manager at Bluebird Care Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells said:
‘The work that the befriending service do is fantastic and from working with our local carers organisations, we know the value of the work that the service does.

Our Community Grant Scheme is a positive way for us to support and recognise the great work of our local charities and I am delighted to be able to have a part to play in reviewing the applications we receive.’