Client news: raising the profile of a new organisation can be helped along the way with a little PR, which is what we did for Swindon’s Helping Old Friends

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

But help is at hand, thanks to a new organisation – Helping Old Friends.

Based in West Swindon and covering the whole of the surrounding Swindon area, Helping Old Friends offers friendship and companionship to older people living alone, as well as practical help too.

“We realised there was a need for a service providing, more than anything, companionship to people who, for whatever reason, find themselves living alone and isolated,” said founder Katrina Simms, who has more than 25 years’ experience working in the elderly care sector.

“Sometimes older people need 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.

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

Katrina is now looking for more companions to join. No experience is needed, and they don’t deliver any personal care or assistance with medication. They just need their own vehicle.

“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 01793 550895, email or visit