Plea to help lonely Sheffield OAPs

Brian in the foreground on one of his visits.
Brian in the foreground on one of his visits.
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A Sheffield community care charity is marking its 50th anniversary by issuing a plea for more volunteers to aid its vital work supporting thousands of older people in the city.

Volunteers at Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care, also known as S&4Cs, already give nearly 3,000 hours of unpaid work each year visiting older people to help battle loneliness and isolation.

However, a huge surge in referrals means the charity’s small team of paid staff and over 50 volunteers need more people to come forward to help continue their potentially lifesaving work.

Brian Gannon is amongst the charity’s longest serving volunteers who has befriended dozens of older people through the charity over the last 25 years.

Now aged 85, he said his work with the charity has turned a long retirement into a burning ambition to end loneliness in the city.

He said: “For many older people television is their only form of company. Regular face-to-face visits give people a reason to live and something to look forward to. Just a chat for an hour makes all the difference.”

The charity’s flagship ‘Good Neighbour Scheme’ offers a befriending service to over 65s who are referred by health agencies, care teams or relatives. It includes social visits, welfare checks, telephone support and one off emergency shopping trips. Anyone interested can call 0114 2505293.