02:38AM, Wednesday 02 July 2014
A weekly gathering has been set up at St Luke’s Parish Centre to help to combat loneliness, writes Rebecca Boland.
Friendship Project meetings will include refreshments and visits from guest speakers.
On Thursday, June 26, 30 people met at the centre in Norfolk Road.
The centre hopes to open its doors to more residents over the upcoming months, and plan day-trips for visitors.
The project was originally set up by Rev Sally Lynch and Baljit Gill to help a group of Asian ladies gain confidence in British culture.
It will now broaden to include all members of the community.
Sally said: "It's really an opportunity for people in the Belmont Ward to have a chance to get together once a week, have some refreshments and talk to each other."
She asks anyone who think they know someone at risk of loneliness to call the centre on 01628 622 733 and leave a message.
Royal Borough councillor Philip Love (Con, Belmont) said the meetings are a perfect opportunity to get people together.
According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, there are 800,000 people in England who are chronically lonely.
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