Hornchurch charity Tapestry appeals for more volunteers

PUBLISHED: 08:58 02 October 2015 | UPDATED: 08:58 02 October 2015

Volunteer Mel Dukelow and befriending co-ordinator Ranmal Burkmar.

Volunteer Mel Dukelow and befriending co-ordinator Ranmal Burkmar.


It is said the older you are, the wiser you become so why not volunteer to speak to the people who bear a fountain of knowledge.

Tapestry, a charity which provides support and companionship to the elderly, is asking for help in reaching more lonely pensioners in need of companionship.

Ranmal Burkmar, befriending co-ordinator at Tapestry, said: “When you get older, your mobility decreases, family members move houses and friends pass away so many end up on their own.

“The befriending service is important because it does help to make older people who are lonely feel less isolated.”

Mel Dukelow, 63, of Mallinson Close, Hornchurch, has been volunteering for the befriending service for 12 years, spending his free time talking to pensioners.

He said: “As a volunteer, it is very rewarding knowing that you are helping someone.

“It is beneficial for both people as well because you get to meet interesting people who sometimes don’t think they have anything to say, but they really can talk for hours once they get going!”

Age Concern Havering was converted into Tapestry last year to meet the changing needs of the community, focusing more on providing a service for the older generation’s entire wellbeing.

The main aims the charity, based in North Street, Hornchurch, wishes to provide are prevention, care and support.

Ranmal said: “People are usually brought to our attention either through social services, a family member or by individual directly.

“There has been research that just by talking to these people it improves their mental health and makes them feel a lot happier.

“They just need someone to talk to and building a relationship between two people is a really nice experience.

“The best thing about befriending someone is that feeling of enjoyment you get from learning all about someone’s life and hopefully making a new friend.”

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