STAYING connected is important now more than ever as the winter draws in and the cost of living crisis starts to bite.
To highlight this Connect Fermanagh, the befriending telephone call charity covering the county, will have a Befriending Week from November 1-7 to highlight the work they do.
It is an opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness of Connect Fermanagh and its volunteers, who deliver friendly phone calls every week to help reduce the social isolation and loneliness of the people they are calling.
“I am new to this project and had the opportunity to share an evening with some of the volunteers who were so kind to share some of their stories,” Aoife McGrade, project coordinator for Connect Fermanagh, said.
“I was impressed by the commitment and dedication each of them had to the project and to the people they have been calling since the start of Covid 19.
“Some of the volunteers have been with the project since April 2020, they have been providing weekly calls to the same person and over this time they have built a friendship and connection.
“While some volunteers and the people they are calling have never met face to face due to isolation and ill health, so they are like modern day pen pals.”
Connect Fermanagh’s volunteers call people every week and provide a listening ear. They share stories, brighten up each other’s days and provide information and connection to services in the local community for any needs that may arise.
The organisation has over 25 volunteers providing befriending calls and since the start of Covid, Connect Fermanagh has supported over 130 people.
This Christmas they will also be organising a Christmas dinner and festivities in the hope to bring their service users and volunteers together.
“We hope to bring as many for those we call around the table to share a traditional Christmas meal, these would be people otherwise sitting at home alone,” Ms McGrade said.
“Connect Fermanagh is always looking for new volunteers to join this wonderful project, to help us meet the demand and needs across Fermanagh.
“If you have a spare hour and love to talk and provide a friendly chat to someone who may be feeling lonely and struggling with anxiety and isolation, please apply.”
For more details call 02866 320230 or email: https://www.connectfermanagh.org/
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