Charity’s new hub to tackle loneliness

Launch: The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Coun John Campbell, with volunteers who put on entertainment at the launch of the hub.

Launch: The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Coun John Campbell, with volunteers who put on entertainment at the launch of the hub.

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OLDER people living alone across Sheffield are set for more help after a charity launched a new regional hub in the city.

The WRVS has launched a South Yorkshire hub, based at SCEDU, Mowbray Street, Neepsend.

It is one of 67 across England, Scotland and Wales run by the voluntary organisation which aims to help people in need.

It will offer core WRVS services, including transport, companionship and social activities, meaning the charity ‘can offer older people across South Yorkshire a bespoke service to meet their individual needs, whether that is a trip to the shops, regular companionship or help with meals’.

Carol Foster, South Yorkshire WRVS manager, said: “We want to make it possible for older people to carry on doing the things they enjoy – whether that’s a lift to the football or a visit to the pub for lunch with friends.”

David McCollough, WRVS chief executive, said: “We know if we can keep older people in their homes with a bit of support they live longer and visit the doctor less.”

The hub was launched at a special event at Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield city centre, where long-service medals were also handed to some of the organisation’s volunteers.

Young volunteers also talked about why they got involved.

April Scott, aged 18, said: “‘In the summer I needed something to do so I did it. It’s great if you need experience for a job,”

Her friend Lauren Hooper, also 18, said helping people can be both rewarding and upsetting.

She said: “One patient had a stroke and her friend started to cry, but it’s not all bad. Some can’t wait to have someone to talk to.”

The charity began in 1938 as the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service, originally made up of female volunteers.

In 2004 it changed its name to WRVS in the hope of getting more men involved.

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