A South Wales charity that supports socially isolated vulnerable people is appealing to the community to help it fund 30 new volunteers to ensure it can continue providing regular home visits to its clients throughout the year.

Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale has launched its #aNatterMatters campaign this week which aims to raise £5,760 to cover the cost to recruit and train the new volunteer intake and provide weekly home visits throughout 2023. Pre-pandemic, the charity maintained 300 regular volunteers, however this has since fallen to 270. With demand expected to peak as the cost-of-living increases, Age Connects is appealing for new volunteers to allow it to continue its vital services.

Age Connects has been tackling loneliness for over 40 years and currently supports 4,500 elderly or vulnerable people in the region. Support includes food shopping, collecting prescriptions, driving or accompanying clients to appointments or groups alongside home visits to provide a friendly face and a person to talk to. As well as raising vital funds to enable the charity to fulfil its commitment to supporting lonely, housebound people, #aNatterMatters aims to highlight the importance of regular company and simple conversation.

Karen Fletcher, Marketing and Partnerships Manager for Age Connects, said: ‘It’s a sad realisation that too many older people experience loneliness and often become cut off. People can become socially isolated for many reasons such as getting older or weaker, no family nearby, the death of a partner or through disability or illness.

“To coincide with Blue Monday, we’re launching this new appeal for volunteers to offer those people, plus others who may feel forgotten, a vital lifeline and keep them connected. And quite often, a simple natter and a cup of tea is all it takes!”

The Age Connects #aNatterMatters campaign is part of the Community Support Project. £2.50 is the amount needed to cover the costs of a one-off weekly visit, and it costs £72 to recruit and train each volunteer. To recruit and train all 30 volunteers – the number needed to continue to deliver its services at the same level – and for each to carry out a weekly visit for the year would cost £5,760. To pledge your support and donate towards the campaign visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/anattermatters