At Chorley council, we have a fantastic befriending service called Friends for You. This group supports 180 people every week with regular contact. From feedback, we know that people are anxious about getting back out of the house and socialising again after the lockdowns. Confidence has reduced so they need help and support to be able to make social connections again.
Friends@Chorley have worked with local cafes, including some community cafes, to arrange tables that will be reserved (at quiet, set times). A volunteer will be on hand to sit and have a friendly chat with people who want to get out of the house and start to make contact again.
The cafes benefit from having customers at quiet times, the community cafes benefit from having extra support, and the residents benefit from getting back out there again. Although its early days people have started to attend and make friends with others, sharing experiences.
Hayley Hughs works for Chorley council.
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