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Help Somerset Sight reduce loneliness in Frome

Frome has recently hit the national press due to the fantastic health outcomes brought about by the Compassionate Frome project spearheaded by local GP Dr Helen Kingston.

The project was supported by Health Connections Mendip and a team of 500 volunteer community connectors.

The group says, “The project recognises what a huge problem we have in the modern day with loneliness and isolation and the profound implications being lonely has on our general health. Research shows that lacking social connections is as damaging to our health as smoking, drinking or obesity.

“Compassionate Frome has brought together services and activities which combat loneliness in our community. The outcomes for the health of the town have been truly remarkable. Hospital admissions are down in the area by nearly 20% which gives a saving of £2million.”

One of the services tackling loneliness in Frome is a volunteer visiting service, run by local charity, Somerset Sight, which matches blind and partially-sighted people with a local volunteer for companionship and practical support.

Somerset Sight volunteers make a huge difference to the people they visit right across the county. Cynthia from Frome has been visited by volunteer Elaine for the last 18 months. “We hit it off straight away. We have so much in common and have lots to talk about, sometimes we play Scrabble with my giant scrabble set or take trips out, but usually we just have a chat. It’s lovely to have regular company.”

The charity will be celebrating 20 years of this hugely successful service in May and will be travelling around the county raising awareness, recruiting volunteers and much-needed funds. The highlight of the celebrations will be an Afternoon Tea held at Wells Town Hall on 2nd May from 1pm-4pm. For more information about the event and to book tickets please call Holly on 01823 366147 or email holly.sutton@ somersetsight.org.uk

Somerset Sight has ambitious plans to visit and support more people in the Frome community than ever before. They have launched an appeal specifically to expand the service in the town. The first £250 of donations will be match-funded by an anonymous donor. If you would like to support this appeal please visit https://local giving. org/appeal/vvs/.  If you are interested in volunteering or know someone who could benefit from a visitor please call 01823 333818 or visit www.somerset sight.org.uk

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