Link Visiting Scheme receive a helping hand from council

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Wokingham Borough Council offices shute end
Wokingham Borough Council.

A LOCAL charity has been supported Wokingham Borough Council with new accommodation after their previous office space was no longer available.

The Link Visiting Scheme (LVS) currently support 330 residents with an average of 15 new referrals each month and were in desperate need of new accommodation to continue to provide support to vulnerable adults across the borough.

Their new offices are near to the town centre, in Westcott Annex, Westcott Road, Wokingham.

With the help of 270 local volunteers, LVS provides a personalised visiting and befriending service to lonely and isolated adults, including those with various disabilities.

The Link Visiting Scheme promotes friendship and improves the health, wellbeing, and independence of their “Link Friends”. 

The team helps to meet the needs of individuals and enable them to feel part of the community and maintain independence.

“We are proud to support services like The Link Visiting Service who enable us to help some of our most vulnerable residents to establish new relationships, have fun and understand they are valued and an important part of our com­munity,” said Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member for health, wellbeing and adult services.

“I would encourage anyone who is feeling isolated or lonely for what every reason to reach out to our friends at the Link Visiting Scheme and I thank all of our residents who give their time as volunteers to this wonderful charity.”

LVS organises a wide range of social activities including monthly pie and pint clubs at various pubs across the borough, weekly coffee mornings and Friends For Ages where they bring together pre-school children and Link Friends.

The team also host a Christmas Day lunch, with more than 90 people attending last year, most of whom would otherwise have spent the festive season alone.

Marjie Walker, manager at The Link, said:  “We understand and see every day the health benefits from confronting loneliness and isolation, and our wide-ranging preventative approach can have amazing health benefits, helping to minimise the need for social care and health services further down the line.

“Our success is built on the massive contribution from hundreds of volun­teers and we would encourage anyone thinking of becoming a volunteer to please get in touch, it is so rewarding and our volunteers often say they get as much out of the friendships they make as their Link Friends.”

Deputy council leader, Cllr John Kaiser, added that the council was pleased to be able to help The Link with space, as the services dovetailed into some of its offerings.

“Working with The Link Visiting Scheme, we can support [isolated residents].  

“Even if we only do this for six or 12 months, it helps The Link and we will do everything in our power to find other suitable locations in the same way we helped Ashridge Nursery following their recent fire.”

To find out more about the Linking Visiting Scheme please visit https://www.linkvisiting.org/

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