Bideford folk help their neighbours

A NEW community group has been set up on the Londonderry Farm Estate in Bideford to provide support for older people.

Londonderry Neighbourhood Link has been set up by the Big Lottery funded TorrAGE Neighbourhood Links project.

Anna Malone, Neighbourhood Links Development Worker, said: “We identified Londonderry Estate as being in need of this service due to a high number of older residents and a lack of community facilities. The combination of these two factors can lead to isolation and difficulties in accessing services and support. Londonderry has many community-minded residents who already help their older neighbours and we want to work with them and support them to make Londonderry Neighbourhood Link a focus and voice for older people on the estate.”

The group will provide support for people aged over 60, with involvement and leadership from the local community. Local volunteers are being recruited to provide services such as befriending and help with small household tasks.

It already supports a number of residents on the estate. One volunteer walks with an elderly resident so that he can have gentle exercise and fresh air, while another helps a neighbour with rubbish and recycling.

The group has also been successful in obtaining a grit bin for the estate, provided through Devon County Council by local councillor Sam Robinson.

This means the estate will be more accessible during snow and icy weather.

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Three residents have signed up to become committee members and help to co-ordinate the group’s activities. They have already held a number of meetings and are now working to recruit more volunteers.

Anyone living on the Londonderry Estate who would like to help, or those over 60 who would like some help, can contact Anna or Linda at TorrAGE on (01805) 622666.

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