A SCHEME to help combat loneliness in the elderly has now been operating in the borough for a year.

Age Concern Hampshire’s Food & Friendship Scheme is celebrating a successful first year of the scheme in Basingstoke, in which older people receive visits from ‘befrienders’.

The service, funded by Hampshire County Council and the borough council provides company to Meals on Wheels customers in Basingstoke who would like a regular visit from a friendly volunteer for at least half an hour, between 11.30am and 4pm.

Food & Friendship co-ordinator Paul Simmonds said: “Good food and good company is something that we all enjoy.

“We are delighted that the scheme has been able to reach so many people across Basingstoke and have had funding confirmed from Hampshire County Council and the borough council for another year.”

Age Concern Hampshire works across the county to promote independent living to over-50s.

To find out more about the scheme or to sign up as a partner organisation or volunteer, contact Mr Simmonds on 01962 892455.