Time to Talk Befriending and Homewise ‘truly tackling loneliness together’

Time to Talk Befriending will be expanding its services to Worthing, thanks to a donation from Homewise.

Mark Neal, managing director at the Worthing-based company, presented a cheque for £5,211.39 to Emily Kenward, founder and chief executive of the charity, at its February tea party.

These monthly tea parties offer a relaxed environment for socialising and help older people who experience loneliness in their lives.

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Mark Neal, managing director at Homewise, presents the cheque to Emily Kenward, founder of Time to Talk Befriending, at the February tea party

Mark said: “Here at Homewise, we’re committed to causes affecting the older community and, having spent time volunteering with Time to Talk Befriending myself, I can’t think of a greater way to support our community in Worthing.

“I’m so proud of everyone and the passion and dedication they’ve put in to raising money for a wonderful cause.”

The charity’s befriending services have been running in Brighton and Hove since 2012, supporting older people who are experiencing chronic loneliness and social isolation.

The money raised by Homewise will go towards hiring a new member of staff in Worthing, so the services can be expanded out west.

Emily said: “The support and encouragement we have received from Homewise has been amazing.

“Not only did staff volunteer their time to befriend one of our scheme members last year but they went above and beyond to raise money to help us expand our work in to neighbouring Worthing.

“This type of fundraising is invaluable to us as a charity. Most of the money raised will go straight to the front line, helping us to continue to build connections and bring a sense of belonging to older people who otherwise would go for weeks or months at a time with minimal or no human contact.

“Through this huge fundraising activity, we truly are tackling the issue of loneliness together.”

The amount donated represented the company’s overall 2018 fundraising efforts on behalf of the charity, which included The Big Blind Run, a 10K run in pairs where one of them was blindfolded throughout.

The inspiration for this was a visually-impaired veteran who was visited regularly by Homewise staff as part of their volunteering work with Time to Talk Befriending.

Bill is struggling with losing his sight and sometimes feels lonely in his care home – like many others the charity helps. His story touched the hearts of the Homewise staff and encouraged them to help.

The money raised by Homewise will go toward hiring a new permanent staff member, ensuring the befriending services in the Worthing community as well as in Brighton and Hove.

Visit www.tttb.org.uk for more information.