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Befrienders for elderly planned

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: March 19, 2014

  • Al Trenary, at home in Fowey. BOTL20140314A-002_C

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CONCERN about the welfare of elderly people in Fowey has prompted a past mayor of the town to appeal for volunteers to help form a befriending group.

Al Trenary said he was worried about the number of elderly people who live alone in Fowey.

"I have looked after various folk myself in recent years, and I have been an Age UK Befriender, but I have always felt that there were lots of other people who lived alone without support and friendship," said Mr Trenary.

"Last September, I went to a conference at Eden where I heard about various befriending schemes in towns in Cornwall, including the Newquay Pathfinder project which puts together Age UK, medical services and the local church in offering support to the lonely, elderly people who live by themselves.

"Since then, I have had several meetings with Age UK, and I've visited the Newquay project and also met with the doctors in the Fowey River GP Practice. I think that it might be possible to set up a befriending scheme here in Fowey to offer the sort of help that seems to be needed, and I now want to call for a few volunteers to join me in seeing if we can make that happen."

Mr Trenary said if volunteers come forward to form the group, the next step would be to identify those who would benefit from what the group could offer: "Age UK and the local doctors are both willing to help us in this, so I think that it is worth giving it a go."

Mr Trenary added: "Health Minister Jeremy Hunt has been talking about the need to look after elderly folk who live alone, and there are apparently many, many people whose best friend is the television. I don't care for any of this, and have a heart to try and do something about it."

People willing to help Mr Trenary form the local group can contact him on 01726 832945.

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