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Engage Befriending

Engage Befriending is a Reading-wide initiative connecting isolated, older people with their local neighbourhood through visits from local volunteers. Engage Befriending has developed partnerships with local churches, faith groups and statutory providers to build an effective and innovative model which reaches and supports the most isolated older people in our community. There are 40 churches and faith groups who have agreed to partner with us and we have ‘regional coordinators’ in four areas of Reading who introduce volunteers to older people in their region. This approach ensures that local support and knowledge is applied wherever possible. We have based much of our model of operating on that used by The LinkVisiting Scheme in Wokingham Borough which runs a successful befriending programme for 140 clients. Engage Befriending became part of Mustard Tree Foundation in May 2013. www.themustardtree.org