FRIENDLY people with an hour a week to spare who would like to get involved with making life happier for local older people are being eagerly sought by the charity Age UK Somerset.

As we get older, those that live alone, perhaps through losing a partner and losing the confidence or mobility to get out of the house, can find themselves feeling low, lonely and isolated.

To make life better in this area, the charity provides two popular and free services which matches local volunteers with older people to share companionship.

The Walk and Talk service involves spending time together each week having a gentle walk and chat together. The Wellbeing Friends service provides a volunteer home visitor each week to offer some friendly company and a window to the outside world.

Both services have been shown to improve quality of life and general wellbeing and visits can bring joy, laughter and a renewed sense of belonging and purpose for both the older person and their volunteer.

In some areas of Somerset there is a waiting list for these services and more volunteers are desperately needed.

The charity has published a map on its website showing where they have the greatest need for volunteers because there are more older people suffering with loneliness and asking for help through these services than they have volunteers to match them with.

Chard & Ilminster News:

Marjorie, who has been volunteering with the charity for a year, urges people to give it a go.

She says she enjoys “being able to make a difference in a way that is easy and flexible for me. Also volunteering gives me a sense of being useful”.

Another volunteer, Claire, says: “It is the most amazing experience.

"Building a trusting relationship with my client has made such a difference in her life - she is more confident and chatty now and has started going out more.”

No experience or qualifications are necessary for these roles, just a kind heart and friendly personality.

If you can spare an hour a week (flexible) and would like to feel like you are making a difference in your community, Age UK Somerset would be delighted to hear from you.

Contact or 01823 345627 or visit to find out more.