Following evidence of loneliness and isolation amongst older people in Pembrokeshire, we partnered with Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services to create the Active & Connected Communities project. The project aims to alleviate isolation through befriending and group, community interaction.
Volunteers will be placed as befrienders with beneficiaries identified by the project, either on a short-term basis in the home, or with groups meeting in a village hall or residents’ lounge. All potential beneficiaries are visited in person and assessed by the project co-ordinator prior to beginning a befriending match. Although it is important to offer a befriending service to isolated people in the community, we know the long-term solution is empowering people to get involved in local groups and activities. Thus, volunteers can also be involved in developing local social group and activities. We work closely with the project’s Community Connectors team who identify where there is a need to develop more activity.