Ferndown Buddies

2nd May 2018

A new buddy-system is being launched in Ferndown and organisers are on the look-out for volunteers.

‘Ferndown Community Connectors’ is being headed by PramaLIFE, the community outreach programme, and aims to help those in the town who have lost confidence.

The ‘connectors’ will buddy-up with people who need company to visit new groups or societies, or help them with simple tasks.

Training provided

Lynn Kenchington, Community Development Worker for Isolation and Loneliness at Dorset County Council, is backing the scheme.

She said: “All our volunteers will be trained and then they will be partnered with people in the community who they can help.

“Often it is very simple things, like just going for a coffee with someone or walking the dog with them.

“People can become lonely and anxious about doing things and they just need a bit of help to get their confidence.

“If someone has been bereaved or suddenly is unable to drive they might need a bit of help to start new things or even to catch the bus.

“It is not a long-term scheme, but merely helps people gain enough confidence for them to join a group or start doing something they’ve never done before or have got out of the habit of doing.”

Life changing

Emma Regan from Douch Family Funeral Directors, which runs the Jolliffe branch in Ferndown, is on the working group.

She said: “Of course we deal with the bereaved on a daily basis and this scheme will make a lot of difference.

“So often we want to be able to help people more after dealing with a funeral and this will allow that to happen.

“Spending a bit of time with someone in order to hold their hand and improve their confidence is extremely simple but can change someone’s life.”

The steering committee organising the connectors is headed by PramaLife and includes AE Jolliffe and Son funeral directors, St Mary’s Church, counsellor Cindy Weller, Corbin Avenue Doctors’ Surgery, Penny’s Hill Practice, Early Help Care POPP/Help and Care, Adult and Communities DCC.


Pic caption: Lesley-Anne Clements, RGN, Cindy Weller, accredited counsellor, Carol Davies, East Dorset manager of PramaLife, Emma Regan from Douch Family Funeral Directors,  Lynn Kenchington, community development worker from Dorset County Council, Lynne Rees, pastoral care co-ordinator at St Mary’s Church and Debbie Hurlock from the POPP early help programme