Senedd minister for mental health and wellbeing Eluned Morgan was given a close-up look at Age Cymru Dyfed’s Befriending Life Links project when she joined a Zoom call as part of National Befriending Week.
Retired drama teacher Ceredwin Jacques from Ceredigion was one of the first befriendees to join the new project when it launched this summer and she was able to share her experiences with the minister along with her befriender volunteer Pat Griffiths in an online zoom call.
With Covid restrictions the project, which was originally planned to be rolled out in the community in Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, has had to rely on telephone befriending and online platforms such as Zoom.
“I had never used Zoom before but now it has enabled me to connect with new people and my family,” said Ceredwin.
“I was dreading winter but now I have something to look forward to.”
The project -which is funded by the Welsh government – aims to tackle loneliness and isolation among the over 50s.
“This is a terrific project,” said Ms Morgan.
“It is exactly what we need, especially at this time. Covid is really difficult for everyone. However technology has transformed how we connect with each other and there is a really positive lesson here.
“I hope more people will volunteer for the befriending service so that more people can access it. Isolation is really damaging to mental health and here we have a way to crack open opportunities.”
If you want to volunteer for Befriending Life Links please contact Lynne Meredith on 07572630797 or email firstname.lastname@example.org