Client news: it was a pleasure to help promote the expansion into Cirencester of Helping Old Friends

Helping Old Friends, which offers friendship and support to people living at home, has expanded into the Cirencester area.

For many people, especially those who are elderly, living alone is an isolating experience, which can have a detrimental effect on mental and physical health.

Helping Old Friends aims to combat this by providing companions who visit people at home and offer friendship and support, as well as practical help with tasks like cooking, shopping and paperwork.

“There is a need for a service that provides, more than anything, companionship to people who, for whatever reason, find themselves living alone and isolated,” said Lauren Flannigan, manager of Helping Old Friends’ in Cirencester.

“Sometimes older people want to have a person just to talk to or do the crossword with. Perhaps someone to replace that lightbulb, to help navigate around the internet, to mow the lawn or put the shopping away, or take them to the hairdressers – those little jobs they might struggle with.”

Helping Old Friends also gives peace of mind to families who may not be able to visit as often as they would like. As well as providing home visits, the company can install equipment, with different levels of monitoring.

Lauren added: “The equipment is Internet of Things enable, and reports to a dashboard, flagging up any out-of-the-ordinary events, so we can step in quickly to help.”

Helping Old Friends first opened in Swindon in 2021, and already has more than 20 customers, 15 companions and delivers 600 hours of help a month. The Cirencester business will operate as a franchise, and will cover the town and surrounding villages.

It’s not just older people who are supported by Helping Old Friends. Among the customers are a disabled couple, who have a new baby and want a hand with some day-to-day tasks, including bathing and taking the baby swimming. Another, who identifies as non-binary, is interested in drag and their companion has been helping them with dress patterns and making clothes, as well as helping them gain confidence.

Lauren is looking for new companions to join her at Helping Old Friends in Cirencester. No experience is needed, and they won’t be delivering any personal care or assistance with medication. They just need their own vehicle.

She said: “We’re looking for caring and compassionate people with a wealth of life experiences and skills to join us, who can relate to the ageing process. No experience necessary but lots of heart required.”

For more information about Helping Old Friends – whether you are an elderly person, or a family member, looking for help, or are interested in becoming a companion – call 01285 701801 or 07919 034754, email lauren.f@helpingoldfriends.co.uk or visit http://helpingoldfriends.co.uk/.