Highland Hospice need volunteers in Inverness for befriending service Helping Hands
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Subscribe to a digital package and support local news publishing.
THIS week is National Loneliness Awareness week, and the Highland Hospice are highlighting the need for friendship.
The charity runs a befriending service, Helping Hands, which offers friendship to those with life limiting illnesses across the region.
Helpers can simply sit for a chat, help with a hobby, read with their client or even go on short trips.
Established five years ago, Helping Hands has volunteers that give up their time to simply have a chat and spend time with people who are facing loneliness.
The service has been highly utilised by healthcare professionals who send referrals to the group.
However, more volunteers are needed from Inverness and Ross-shire to help continue the good work.
Rhona Dunley, Helping Hands coordinator, said: "Loneliness is such a dreadful thing, friendship is so important to all of us and everyone deserves it.
"A couple of hours a week is a huge lifeline. There’s no respite available really for at home carers so people that are caring at home for their loved ones can find it challenging.
"Others are just lonely and isolated and need someone to talk to."
Ms Dunley said the pandemic was a hard time for many of the clients, so the service continued to provide help where it could.
People of all ages can volunteer, their current network has people from 18-93 years old.
She continued: "It doesn't have to be a huge commitment, an hour or two a week or a fortnight is great. It’s very flexible. You cannot underestimate how much different even one hour can make to someone's life. It’s such a lifeline.
"I really enjoy it because I meet so many wonderful real people in their homes. We see the challenges they face on a daily basis and I thrive by making a difference and taking some pressure off them and making people fee like they have worth again."
To help out, phon 01463 423202 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.