A BRAND-NEW befriending scheme for older people has just been launched across west Wales – and is looking for volunteers.

The three-county initiative Befriending Life Links – funded by the Welsh Assembly – has been set up by Age Cymru and aims to support people over the age of 50 who have become socially isolated, have lost their confidence or just have a low sense of wellbeing.

The six-strong Befriending Life Links team are based in various locations around Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.

The project is now actively recruiting volunteers and hopes that with the surge of interest in volunteering during the Covid-19 lockdown, people will carry on helping the community.

Project manager Jeremy Hewitt said: “Launching Befriending Life Links in lockdown has not been easy but we think that there are many older people who are now in more need of befriending services than ever before.”

For the initial post lockdown period the service will concentrate on telephone befriending – and the team have already been alerted to hundreds of potential clients.

“Some people might become isolated due to health issues, a stay in hospital, bereavement

or for other reasons,” said Jeremy.

“Whatever someone's situation, we will try our best to support them. With our team of dedicated staff and volunteers we will work with individuals to provide a tailored service and support specific to the individual’s needs.

“Volunteers are essential to enable us to deliver this much needed service and we would appeal for anyone interested to get in touch with their county co-ordinators.”

As lockdown eases, the Befriending Life Links service will involve matching volunteers with clients and offer home visits plus support to attend events and involvement with the community.

If you are interested in volunteering contact your county co-ordinator – Carmarthenshire Jo-Anne.Zapettis@agecymrudyfed.org.uk; Ceredigion sue.lewis@agecymrudyfed.co.uk and Pembrokeshire emma.bingham@agecymrudyfed.co.uk