A housebuilder in Seaford has given its support to a local charity which is helping to combat loneliness among people in the town.
SeaFriends was set up at the start of the first lockdown in March last year to provide a telephone befriending service for local people who are lonely or isolated.
Bellway Kent is building new homes at Seaford Grange in the town and decided to donate £1,500 towards the charity when development manager Mary Hawes got in touch to ask for help.
Mary said: “We provide a one-to-one befriending service, currently by phone due to coronavirus restrictions.
“We offer regular calls to socially isolated and lonely residents of Seaford by trained and supported volunteers. This service gives those who are unable to get out the opportunity to share stories, news and laughter and allows them to feel socially connected with the wider community.”
The SeaFriends staff include two employees and 36 volunteers, who have spent nearly 500 hours making calls to Seaford residents since starting the service.
Mary said: “The money that Bellway has kindly donated will allow us to keep going. It will also go towards the coffee mornings that we want to set up after lockdown, as well as drop-ins, volunteer expenses and IT support.
“We have very few overhead costs so the vast majority of the money we receive goes straight towards helping our service users.
“The support we have received has been amazing. We are very grateful for Bellway’s generous donation – it will make a huge difference.”
Sales Director for Bellway Kent, Mark Harrop, said: “When Mary approached us and explained what the charity does for Seaford residents, we had no doubt that they deserved our help.
“The support that SeaFriends provides is especially important during lockdown where we have been told to stay at home and are unable to visit loved ones.
“The SeaFriends charity is a credit to the Seaford community and it is wonderful to see the town coming together to help those in need. We hope that the money we have provided will go a long way in keeping the charity going and helping its service users.”
Anyone who would like to support the group, or needs help from the service, can contact SeaFriends on 01323 914689 or visit seafriends.co.uk