Befriending service in high demand


A befriending scheme set up to support lonely and isolated older people in the Sleaford area has been reflecting on a busy 2019.

Evergreen Sleaford currently has more than 60 friendships in place within a 10-mile radius of the town, with a waiting list in place.

Since launching in 2012, the service has helped 165 different people.

Chairman Dave Jeal said: “Everyone deserves a friend, and friendship matters to us all, but it is a lifeline to those who have no other real connection to the outside world. We aim to alleviate the issue of loneliness amongst the elderly in our area in some small part. Our volunteers do an amazing job and it is evident from the surge in our numbers, that this is something needed within our community.”

Anna Maltby, one of the coordinators, said the service currently has 64 friendships in place, but that figure could be as high as 74 based on demand.

“We’ve put 36 new friendships in place over 2019 alone,” she said. “That’s huge for us! Our volunteers are brilliant, but we always need more.

“To think that we currently have 10 people on our waiting list, all wanting a friend to visit them, is heart breaking – particularly at this time of year.

“There has been much in the press about loneliness over recent years, and it’s important that we realise it exists in our community as much as any other.”

Evergreen volunteers are asked to commit one to two hours every week to visit their friend.

lAnyone who would like to know more about volunteering, or know of someone who might benefit from the service themselves, is asked to get in touch on 07707 260822 or email