A NEW befriending event to help combat isolation and loneliness has been launched in Moreton-in-Marsh by a retirement community.

Friendship Friday aims to offer extra support to older people living locally who may be experiencing loneliness and provide a vital friendship link for those feeling isolated, by inviting them to a special coffee morning where they will have the chance to meet new friends in a relaxed environment.

The free event will take place at McCarthy and Stone’s Keatley Place Retirement Living development on Hospital Road on Friday, January 18 from 11am until 1pm.

Jess Sleeman, House Manager at Keatley Place, said: “Friendship Fridays is all about reconnecting older people with their wider community."

She added: “Many older people living locally might be afraid to admit they’re feeling lonely because they’re embarrassed or don’t want to be seen as a burden. We want to put an end to some of the stigma around loneliness, and show that it’s a completely natural way to feel and something we can all experience from time to time.”

Jess continued: “Our research showed that many older people are feeling lonely, but many are also proactively looking for new ways of finding friendship and getting involved locally.

“Our event is a great opportunity for anyone in this position who may be lacking in confidence, or who just needs someone to talk to, to pop along for tea and a chat and to enjoy the company of like-minded individuals in a warm and welcoming environment.”