Homewise staff set out to raise funds to save Worthing befriending scheme

Befriending is so important for many older people, as staff from Worthing-based company Homewise have learned first hand.

Through volunteering work with Time to Talk Befriending, staff have seen the value of a simple chat and are now passionate about raising money for the charity.

Homewise staff ready for the RSBC Blindfold Run, one part of their Big Blind Run 2018

Homewise staff ready for the RSBC Blindfold Run, one part of their Big Blind Run 2018

Homewise, based in Liverpool Gardens, wants to raise at least £10,000 for Time to Talk Befriending. This will fund a new part-time manager, ensuring the service launched in Adur and Worthing last year can continue.

The charity was launched in Brighton and Hove in 2012 and began to branch out west in April 2017 with the launch of the Older People’s Community Befrienders pilot scheme but this cannot continue without funding.

Mark Neal, managing director, said: “Here at Homewise, we’re committed to causes affecting the older community and, having spent time volunteering with Time to Talk Befriending myself, I can’t think of a greater way to support our community in Worthing.

“The £10,000 we raise will help fund a new member of staff for the charity, meaning they can launch the befriending scheme here in Worthing on a permanent basis.

“We value passion and empowerment at Homewise and our dedicated team are going to conquer this feat together for a wonderful cause. I’m so proud of everyone and look forward to seeing us all unite to motivate and encourage each other on the day.”

Homewise’s fundraising campaign Big Blind Run 2018 challenges staff to work together to cover the distance from Brighton to Belfast by walking and running more than 600k.

It has been divided into two separate elements, starting on Friday, November 2, with a 10k coastal walk for all employees, starting at the head office in Worthing.

Then on Sunday, November 4, half the staff will take part in the RSBC Blindfold Run at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. This will be completed in pairs, with one of the two blindfolded throughout.

Mr Neal said this year’s fundraising challenge had been inspired by a visually-impaired Navy veteran visited by his staff.

Bill sometimes feels lonely in his care home and is struggling with losing his sight, so the befriending scheme is invaluable.

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thebigblindrun or more information and to make a donation.

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