Press and opinion | Social care

Your Trusted Friend to expand its companion service across north Wales, thanks to National Lottery support

Your Trusted Friend successfully applied for £10,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund to deliver a befriending service for people across north Wales, building more long-lasting and genuine friendships.

By Rhodri McDonagh · 24 November 2021

See this page in: Cymraeg

Thanks to National Lottery players, Your Trusted Friend, a not-for-profit company who already offers its companion service in Wrexham, Flintshire and Denbighshire, will use the grant to help with growing into new areas and to support more people and communities across north Wales to prosper and thrive.

Gareth Mason from Wrexham uses the service of Your Trusted Friend and he told us:

“My mum doesn’t need a carer. What she needs is a companion. A companion who will do things with her – take her for walks and to places, talk about anything and everything, do jigsaws, get the shopping she wants and generally potter around the house. Oh, and spot things that I need to know about and deal with.

“At 93, Mum is ‘all there’ but she needs company. Being on her own has never ever been something she could bear. So this past three years I seem to have gained a sister.

“Your Trusted Friend is absolutely a lifesaver for me and a life-enhancer for my mum. Mum is happy and that is the most important thing in the world.”

Befriending is proven to be a lifeline for older people who are experiencing loneliness. Even an hour a week can help to transform someone’s life – they simply want company, a conversation and a helping hand.

Family members or close friends also benefit from this service if they are at work during the day, taking a holiday or have moved from the area – it provides peace of mind by filling the gap and providing ‘a trusted friend’.

Heather Jones from Your Trusted Friend said, “We offer wellbeing care that is different from the nursing or personal care in that the clients’ needs are for companionship and doing odd jobs, maybe posting letters or walking the dog when they can’t. Our clients and their families often notice the mental health benefits almost immediately. We are thrilled to receive this grant, helping us reach more families and communities in north Wales that are in desperate need of this service.”

Derek Preston-Hughes, Funding Manager at The National Lottery Community Fund, said:

National Lottery players raise more than £30 million each week for good causes across the UK and eight out of ten of our grants are for £10,000 or less – going to grassroots groups and charities like Your Trusted Friend. We know how valued their work is by people in Wrexham, Flintshire and Denbighshire already. We’re looking forward to seeing the service expand across north Wales, with yet more communities finding out how National Lottery funding helps to change people’s lives, like it has for Gareth and his mother.” 

Your Trusted Friend is one of 62 projects celebrating receiving a share of £836,417 in National Lottery grants this month. To find out more, please see the full list attached.

To find information on applying to The National Lottery Community Fund for funding to help your community thrive, visit www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk or call 0300 123 0735.

Two women chatting together
Jennifer Jones, a service user, chatting to her ‘Trusted Friend’, Cathy Boardman

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