Two’s Company Befriending shines a light in Belfast!!

12.06.2024

Following the end of the covid pandemic and the when cost of living crisis was in the early stages of development, the anti-poverty group from the four Methodist Churches in South and Central Belfast were tasked to go out into the local community and see if there was anything more the churches could be doing to assist their local communities.

The overwhelming response came back from the community centres that tackling isolation and loneliness within their communities was their biggest problem. There appeared to be no cohesive plan in place in how to tackle this problem. Our District Superintendent recalled a previous visit of a member of Linking Lives who had visited his office in Belfast explaining the work their charity was involved in and seeking to expand into Northern Ireland.
I established contact with Angela and Jeremy and it was as if a light had had been shone into a dark place there it was the perfect answer – ‘Two’s Company Befriending’ – a readymade platform to address loneliness in our community was just what we were looking for!

We have secured a coordinator by the name of David Bell a former pastor who had already established a relationship with many of the isolated people in the area. Donegall Road Methodist Church has made available meeting rooms free of charge and there is a feeling of hope where once there was despair. Training with Linking Lives UK has now taken place and we are preparing our volunteers with the necessary mandatory criminal record checks. Our community groups are all on board with us and can provide us with clients. With our trust in Christ and in prayer along with the help of the team at Linking Lives UK we look to forward in confidence to making a real difference in the lives of isolated older people in our community.

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