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Wokingham Borough Council is working in partnership with local charities on a new project to promote friendship and reduce the impact of loneliness and isolation and they are looking for more volunteers to help.

The Friendship Alliance is a new initiative funded by the Better Care Fund that brings together four local non-profit organisations – the Link Visiting Scheme, Age UK Berkshire, Involve Community Services and the Wokingham Volunteer Centre – to develop new ideas to tackle loneliness and improve the mental and physical wellbeing of residents.

The Friendship Alliance is looking to establish a network of Friendship Champions and Chatty Cafes across the borough to join them in their fight against loneliness. The Alliance will also be looking to expand their existing services, so more volunteers are needed. Volunteers are invited to offer as much or as little time as they can to provide; transport, hosting a chatty café, being a Friendship Champion or befriending a local resident in need of some company.

The other services within the Friendship Alliance include: a transport scheme, a gardening scheme, Community Navigation, handypersons services and more. The Friendship Alliance will be working together and flexibly to meet the needs of individuals and enable them to feel part of the community and maintain independence.

If you are feeling lonely and would like to find out more about what’s on in your community and across the borough you can contact Community Navigation on 01344 304404,  the Link Visiting Scheme on 0118 979 8019 or Age UK Berkshire on 0118 959 4242.

To find out more about volunteering, call the Volunteer Centre on 0118 977 0749 or visit wokinghamvolunteercentre.org.uk

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