Manyolder people who live alone in the Devizes area are unaware of the opportunities for socialising, says Age UK Wiltshire.

The charity is appealing for more befriending volunteers to visit older people in their homes and help them maintain links with the outside world.

Annie Fiducia, a befriending support worker based at the charity’s office in Devizes Market Place, said: “These people are not just isolated, they are socially isolated because they are not able to go out alone.

“Their lack of confidence or lack of mobility means they don’t know what is available to them in the outside world. One lady who we managed to get along to a lunch club said she couldn’t believe all this had been going on without her.

“We do get a lot of volunteers in the Devizes area but numbers have fallen off, so we are appealing for more people to give their time to this worthwhile activity.

“Sometimes just an hour a week can make all the difference in the world.”

Age UK works to improve the welfare of older people and the befriending service is one of their mainstays.

Older people living alone are referred by GPs, social workers and community volunteers and the charity establishes a relationship between users and volunteers.

For more information on becoming a volunteer, call (01380) 727767.