A CHARITY is reaching out to the lonely and isolated during a national week to celebrate the work of volunteer 'befrienders'.
Voluntary Action Epping Forest runs a befriending service, introducing trained volunteers to locals who find themselves lonely for a variety of reasons - such as mental health issues, old age, homelessness or disability.
The Epping-based charity also provides clients with the chance to socialise, organising weekly social clubs and days out.
It is seeking to raise awareness of the scheme among potential befrienders and service users during the first national Befriending Week from November 2 to 9.
Befriending coordinator Julie Bristow said: "We would like to thank our brilliant volunteers for supporting hundreds of lonely people over the past year in Epping Forest."