West Norfolk volunteers sought to befriend isolated RAF veterans

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People in West Norfolk are being encouraged to help a charity’s efforts to support former RAF personnel who are facing the problems of loneliness and isolation.

The Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) is appealing for volunteers to join its befriending team, which pairs volunteers with service veterans.

The organisation estimates that up to 170,000 RAF veterans are dealing with issues of isolation nationally.

Of them, around half of are trying to cope with feelings of loneliness as well.

Volunteers either visit veterans at their homes or speak to them via telephone or help to put them in touch with community groups where veterans can meet new friends.

RAFA volunteer manager Katharine Montgomery said they are looking to recruit volunteers of all ages and backgrounds.

She said: “Befrienders can play such an important role in somebody’s life.

“While there is no single type of person we look for, a good befriender is someone that is caring and empathetic, able to build a rapport with people, reliable and a good listener.”

A one-day training course is provided which covers all of the areas that would-be volunteers need to know in order to be an effective befriender.

For more information on how to get involved, visit rafa.org.uk/befriending