VOLUNTEERS are needed to help a project aimed at improving people’s health, wellbeing and quality of life.

The Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP), in Newton Aycliffe, wants more people to sign up to the Health Buddy scheme, which offers flexible, short term help to people aged over 50.

Volunteers become trained befrienders to help clients with tasks from shopping and social activities, to accessing services or attending medical appointments.

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Sometimes they simply have a chat, providing a vital link into the community for those who can be socially isolated, or encourage them to get outdoors and stay active.

Health Buddy volunteer Gayle Parker said: “I am studying for a foundation degree in health and social care and volunteering as a Health Buddy has given me a new perspective to what’s involved.

“I have enjoyed meeting people and it has not only given me the satisfaction of helping others, I have gained qualifications and experience.”

The scheme is funded through the East Durham Rural Corridor Area Action Partnership.

Ideal volunteers will know their community, be patient and reliable and need to give at least two hours a week.

Full training and support will be provided by PCP.

For information about volunteering or accessing the scheme email healthbuddy@pcp.uk.net or call Fiona Chrichard on 01325-321234.