A new befriending project which will run until September 2016 has been launched with assistance from the Mid-Ulster Council.
The service from Rural Support is aimed at individuals from a farming or rural background, living within the Mid-Ulster Council area.
Loneliness and isolation is a major issue for many people, particularly in later life, which can be further compounded if you live in a rural area.
Those who are experiencing isolation or loneliness whether it be as a result of a health problem, caring for another family member, living on their own, a lone parent, unemployment and lack of or no access to transport can avail of this service.
Loneliness and isolation is a major issue for many people, particularly in later life, which can be further compounded if you live in a rural area. With little or no access to services, lack of public transport and living alone, feelings of loneliness are sometimes increased. Some people often go days or weeks with no one to talk to. Age UK report that half of all older people consider the television as their main form of company.
Rural Support hopes that its befriending project will alleviate some of this isolation by providing regular contact and interaction to those who are feeling lonely. Individuals will be assigned a befriender, who are all Rural Support volunteers, and they will help to provide friendly conversation and companionship on a regular basis over a period of time. Some befriending will be by telephone and some, where appropriate, will be home visits.
All volunteers have had Access NI checks carried out to ensure the safety of clients. All our volunteers are trained and highly skilled in providing specialist support in relation to rural and farming issues.
If you are interested in availing of the befriending support or any of the above services currently being offered by Rural Support- then all it requires is an initial call to the helpline - 0845 606 7 607. All calls are confidential. The helpline is available 8am to 11pm, seven days a week (voicemail and support options available at all other times).