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Lottery Success for Together service in Suffolk which reduces rural isolation

Posted on 08, November 2011

A much-needed service providing social links for people with mental health issues has been thrown a lifeline, thanks to a Big Lottery Fund grant of £249,179.

Suffolk Befriending Service, run by national mental health charity Together, has been providing support to clients with mental health issues for four years across Suffolk. It was under serious threat of closure as the current funding was due to come to an end.

Thanks to the injection of cash, the service will be able to continue to provide clients with the opportunity to engage in a number of social activities with the support of a designated ‘befriender’. The rapport helps to build confidence so that people can eventually take an active part in their local community. This is especially important in reducing the social isolation we know exists for people with mental health issues living in a rural area like Suffolk.

Says Patrick Yardy, who runs the service: “Lots of people with mental health issues live a very lonely existence. Through the befriending service they find the confidence to socialise, find hobbies, find a rapport with people who really understand them, and this really boosts their confidence and gives them a social outlet. Thanks to the Lottery we can continue this really important work in reducing the social isolation of our clients across rural Suffolk.”

The aim now is to build on the service already in place working with mental health providers across Suffolk, as well as to recruit and train more volunteers in the coming months to meet the growing demand.

For further information please contact Robyn Clark, PR & Marketing Officer at Together, Tel: 0207 780 7300/07734 870065 or Email: robyn-clark@together-uk.org