Be a friend to older folk

A NEW befriending project with Age NI, supported by the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, is recruiting volunteers to help support socially isolated older people in the Larne area.

The initiative, which will also operate in Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey, will develop a team of befrienders to provide practical help, social contact and access to activities and services to people at risk of loneliness.

Una Mulgrew, befriending coordinator, said: “Volunteer befrienders will be asked to spend 2-4 hours per week being a friend to an older person. This could mean helping to rebuild an older person’s self confidence by taking them for a coffee or a bite to eat, encouraging them to meet other people, offering practical support by doing shopping or picking up prescriptions, or simply staying in for a chat.”

Age NI will provide training and guidance, one-to-one support and out-of-pocket expenses to those who wish to participate.

If you know someone who’d like to be a volunteer befriender or to refer someone to the service, please contact Una on 0743 596 0543 or email