beFriend scheme relaunch event in Upper Beeding

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A befriending scheme launched two years ago to combat loneliness has been rebranded and expanded.

The successful Link Visiting Scheme for older people in Steyning, Upper Beeding and Bramber has been adapted for families.

The new visiting service, now called beFriend, was launched in The Hub Café in Upper Beeding. 

More than 60 people, including representatives from West Sussex County Council, Horsham District Council, Sussex Police, schools, and children and family services, joined volunteers and members of The Hub to hear more.

The Rev Peter Butchers, leader of The Hub, explained beFriend was an initiative to combat isolation by connecting people.

Debbie Wood, seniors worker for The Hub, added: “beFriend links people across the spectrum of society who would benefit from extra support or friendship with a volunteer from within the community. 

“Their role is to draw alongside, listen and help them to find solutions to daily challenges.”

West Sussex cabinet member David Barling and Horsham community development officer Rachel Evans spoke about the great need for such a service.

For more details, email The Hub at

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