THE Launceston branch of the Salvation Army has launched a befriending service to support isolated people in the town.

Being able to speak to someone over the phone has become a lifeline for so many people who have been cut off from family and friends by the pandemic.

To help support vulnerable and isolated members of the community in Launceston, The Salvation Army has launched a new telephone befriending service.

The service is the idea of Salvation Army member Mary Butler, who has been with the church and charity for over 50 years.

A similar project was set up during the first lockdown last year and Mary found a new way of serving her community. It proved such a success that the organisation is now launching a full befriending service to help reach out to even more people who may be lonely, anxious or worried and would appreciate a phone call.

Mary said: “I kept praying and believing the Lord would show me a way that I could reach out in some way which is something I really like to do. This has proved such a blessing and has opened an opportunity to listen and to pray with people. This has been a great comfort to them and a real blessing to me.”

Salvation Army leader captain Susan Tidball said: “We’re pleased to be able to offer this support to people in our community. Loneliness and isolation were prevalent in our community even before the pandemic but has been brought to the forefront during these days of social isolation and shielding. There is a real need — a basic human need — for personal contact for the sake of people’s health and wellbeing.”

The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to become part of its befriending service. Anyone who may be interested should contact Susan at Launceston Salvation Army by emailing [email protected] or calling 01566 774160.