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Bexley Befriending Cafe's

by Age UK Bexley in Bexley, England, United Kingdom

Bexley Befriending Cafe's
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Unfortunately this project was not successful.

Reducing social isolation and loneliness in Bexley

by Age UK Bexley in Bexley, England, United Kingdom

Age UK Bexley Befriending Cafe's are the charity's are a key part of out support and social activity provision. All are led and run by their volunteers and cafe members. Our cafes are a key critical to the  charity's work in combating social isolation and loneliness in the borough. They are a dynamic and friendly way to improve health, develop friendships and often act as an information and referral resource to the charity's other services.

Social and Physical Activity - Each of our existing befriending café's offer opportunities for social connections, light physical exercise and peer support. They are situated in publicly accessible settings, libraries and community centres, near good transport hubs within easy reach of other local amenities. Buildings are all DDA compliant and invariable multi - disciplinary meaning those attending the café can gain access to other resources on offer at the same site. Investment will enable the charity to initiate similar provision in the North of the borough where we are under represented, and where rates of loneliness are highest.

Befriending -  Each befriending Café is a community based extension of our existing befriending service. Capacity is increased by volunteer befrienders linking existing and new referrals to the group provision. They support an introduction to other co - users of the service, and help build confidence in getting there and meeting new people. Our Sidcup Café for example has seen befriendee's developing social contact and friendship beyond the supported provision, organising afternoon teas in each others homes.

Volunteer and peer led  - Volunteers are critical to the design and delivery of each café. Working with those using the cafe's they identify interests and needs that shape what is available in each of the existing venues. The charity see's this as a successful model for sustainable delivery both in terms of user led design but also in terms of inclusion, flexibility and accessibility.

We are a critical part of the support and and service infrastructure locally for older people, delivering direct services in both community settings, health clinics and peoples homes . We are a recognised brand leader in delivering services for and on behalf of older people in the borough,  with a strong community presence and highly skilled staff.

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