Supporting Friendships

Supporting Friendships is the latest campaign from our West Kent Befriending Service, tackling the loneliness felt by some older people in our community.

The West Kent Befriending Service is volunteer led and relies entirely on grants and donations to run. ‘Supporting Friendships’ aims to make the befriending service sustainable through a monthly donation program. By committing to giving a certain amount each month, you are ‘giving the gift of friendship’ to a lonely person in need. 92% of our members say the service has made a positive difference to their lives and so it is important for us to ensure the continued delivery of this free service.

We have some fantastic ambassadors on board including: Ann Widdecombe, Julie Derrick (Head Teacher of Invicta Grammar School ), Helen Grant (MP for Maidstone and The Weald), Oliver Monahan (Area Managing Director for Arriva Kent and Surrey ) and Cllr David Naghi. Here are their words of support:

Ann Widdecombe – Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe

So many people face loneliness and isolation on a daily basis. The West Kent Befriending Service has already shown that each and every one of us has the power to make a positive difference to someone’s life. The Supporting Friendships campaign will enable the service to continue the fantastic work it does in providing the valuable gift of companionship to those who need it. I am proud to be an Ambassador for the campaign and look forward to supporting its work in any way.

Julie Derrick – Head Teacher, Invicta Grammar School

I am delighted to be supporting the West Kent Befriending Service along with the ‘Supporting Friendships’ campaign. We have, as a school, raised funds for the charity because we recognise the importance of eradicating social isolation in our community.

Helen Grant – MP for Maidstone and The Weald

Finding a friendly conversation can be easy if you have confidence and you have contact. But for those who are alone, perhaps with mobility issues, the chances for a chat and a little human warmth can be hard to find. The West Kent Befriending Service is a wonderful service, reaching deeply, beating loneliness and I fully support the Supporting Friendships campaign.

Oliver Monahan – Area Managing Director for Arriva Kent and Surrey

Arriva works hard to be an active member of every community. All of my colleagues, bus drivers, engineers, managers and head office staff were delighted to be able to partner with the Befriending Service to host the first ever Talking Bus. On a personal level I immediately connected with the aims and ambitions of Supporting Friendships. I am honored to be able to help such a great campaign.

David Naghi – Cllr David Naghi, His Worshipful the Mayor

One of the greatest gifts in life is that of friendship, having someone to talk with, to laugh with. We have so many older members in our community who are so richly deserving of those relationships, but who currently feel that they are very much alone. That is why I selected The West Kent Befriending Service as one of my chosen charities for my Mayoral year. I have been particularly inspired by the willingness of people of all ages to get involved with this service, bringing the gift of friendship, putting smiles on faces and a sense of belonging to everyone involved. I am very proud to have been asked to be an Ambassador of Supporting Friendships, enabling me to continue my relationship with this wonderful charity.

The campaign launch event took place on Friday 5th April at the town hall, read the story.

If you would like to give the gift of friendship each month, follow the instructions below:

If you are unsure how to set up your standing order, just note down these details and your bank will be able to do the rest for you!