A new drop-in centre which aims to tackle loneliness and social isolation has opened in Bideford.

Northam Care Trust's Drop-in Centre in Mill Street is open Monday to Friday from 9am until 2pm.

It offers the opportunity for the elderly and those living with dementia or other chronic or long-term conditions to pop in and have a drink and a chat with a friendly face.

As well as reducing isolation, the centre offers advice and helps identify other services which may be of benefit.

Northam Care Trust's Gill Garratt is the friendly face at the drop-in centre, supported by Jo Manley and Tom Gleeson.

Gill, the trust's senior social inclusion worker, said: "What we wanted to do for Bideford was reach out to as many people as possible and have them come to us.

"We're making sure we work with people first and deliver something people will find beneficial.

"The feedback has been positive. People are coming in every day just for a chat. We've been working with other agencies and Citizen's Advice and we're building our own little social group."

The centre has been made possible thanks to funding from Devon County Council's Creative Innovation and Growth Programme.

The trust was awarded more than £14,500 to get the project off the ground.

Since opening at the end of November, the centre has had plenty of regular visitors.

The good work that it has done is clear to see already, with friendships formed and even budding relationships.

The centre will host Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service on January 21 for an awareness session.

On January 31 there will be a dementia awareness session where those attending can become dementia friends.

Jo said she hoped the service would help fill any gaps in the services once it becomes more established.

"We would like to be able to provide a service to fill those gaps once we have been here a while," she said.

"Were doing this the proper way, not just making up a service that doesn't fit. We want to find out what people need.

"It's a real diversification from Northam Care Trust."