New befriending service combats loneliness in Bedford

Older person

A social outreach project to combat loneliness and isolation in the community has been recently launched in Putnoe

The befriending service, Project 41, is run from Woodside Church in Dover Crescent.

The team at the church recognised the need for a service to reach the lonely and isolated in the community – particularly during the coronavirus lockdown – and set about making it happen.

They have partnered with Linking Lives UK, who have an established home visiting model used in many UK locations. They have been supported with funding from the Harpur Trust who also recognised the needs of the lonely in our communities.

The Befriending Service launched in April this year and offers a home visit once a week in order to build friendship.

During the current Covid 19 situation the service is being run as a telephone service and trained volunteers seek to build positive friendships with people and will eventually, where possible, encourage them to become part of their local community.

Cath Cameron is the newly appointed Project Coordinator and has been very busy establishing the service, recruiting and training volunteers and pairing them with people wanting a visit.

“When I saw the role advertised by Project 41, I knew that this scheme had the potential to make a huge difference in the lives of lonely people and I wanted to be part of it,” said Cath.

“If you are lonely and would like to have someone visit you then please get in touch. Volunteers are also welcome so if this is something that appeals to you, contact us!”

If you would like further information, contact Cath Cameron, Linking Lives Befriending Service, Woodside Church, Dover Crescent, Bedford, MK41 8QH or email

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