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A week to celebrate friendship from November 1 to 7

Posted: Nov. 1, 2021, 10:38 a.m.

This week from November 1-7, 2021, Neston Angels is celebrating the incredible contribution friends make to individuals and our community.

The Neston Angels Befriending Project has been supporting isolated older people in the CH64 region since 2014, and during Befriending Week it celebrates the huge impact befriends have had on individuals and communities, especially over the past eighteen month.

As one grateful son said to his father’s friend, “Thank you for the friendship and kindness you have shown my father throughout his later years. You have been a ray of sunshine for him. “

Befrienders are trained volunteers who regularly visit one or two older people in the area to provide companionship and support. Some of the friends of Neston Angels have been volunteering for over six years and collectively they have helped over 400 people feel less alone and more connected to their community. Friends of Neston Angels come from all walks of life and are of all ages. Some Neston Angels volunteers are older than the people they support.

Ann and Jean laughing May 2021.

The COVID pandemic has presented many challenges in making friends. Friends of Neston Angels had to switch to supporting people by phone from their homes, which was particularly difficult for the hearing impaired. It was a very difficult time and they were all very happy to be able to resume home visits more recently.

A slew of new volunteers took on specific friendship duties during the first COVID lockdown, shopping every week for those who were protecting themselves and had no one else to help. Seventy-eight fellow traders made purchases and deliveries to over 100 people worth over £ 14,000. In partnership with Ellesmere Port and Neston Community Transport, Local Pharmacies and Neston and Willaston Primary Care Network, we have helped a total of 792 people access purchases, medicines and other practical supports.

In the past year alone, Neston Angels has connected 45 people in friendship matches and the friends have made over 2,000 stunning one-on-one visits or calls. The statistics are mind-boggling, but sometimes it’s the individual stories that tell the most. The point is, friends aren’t just a source of connection and community, they sometimes save lives, spotting warning signs that no one else is. A family member who was alerted to her mother’s failing memory recently emailed us to say, “I am eternally grateful for your phone call, as I am now convinced that if you did not expressed your concerns, I will make other arrangements now.

If you want more information on how to become a friend, or if you know someone who would benefit from a regular visit, visit the Neston Community Youth Center’s website, Telephone 0151 336 7805 or email [email protected].

The Neston Community Youth Center is a registered charity (No. 1117890) that provides community development, adult learning and youth work activities.

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