A befriending service aimed at lonely and socially isolated people throughout Chesterfield and NE Derbyshire.
This project now has its own website where you can make a referral or apply to volunteer, as well as catching up on news and opportunities.
Visit the site at elderfriends.org.uk
We have set up Community Cafes in Brimington and Chesterfield. The friendship, tea and coffee groups enable service users to get together on a weekly basis, broadening their social networks, and participating in activities.
Volunteers can help run the cafes, chatting to service users, playing games with them or if you’ve got a special skill you may be able to use that.
It was a tremendous shock when, on the anniversary of the NHS, The Volunteer Centre received a letter from the local Clinical Commissioning Group (the body who fund the NHS) that they would be removing funding to all voluntary sector organisations in Derbyshire. This will have a tremendous impact on the lives of lonely and socially isolated people across our area and would seem an extremely short sighted approach.
Several consultation meetings in the area left everyone bemused. Dr Chris Clayton, who has been bought in to administer the cuts, laid out the plans to the general astonishment of the voluntary sector groups in attendance. The money given to the voluntary sector in Derbyshire accounts for just 0.01% of the entire CCG budget and while we aren’t responsible for any of their massive overspend, it would seem that voluntary organisations are being scapegoated as the CCG attempt to claw back almost 50 million.
Dave Radford, manager of The Volunteer Centre said, “I feel very angry, as does everyone, this is a miniscule amount of money and yet will have a profound effect on the lives of elderly and socially isolated people in the area. The Voluntary Sector provide them with untold great publicity and rather than embrace that they are throwing it all away.”
Dave continued, “This reduction in funding has left our project very vulnerable but we will continue to provide a service with the limited resources we have available.”