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Poplar food bank launches befriending service to combat lockdown loneliness

PUBLISHED: 10:00 17 July 2020

Volunteers helping out at the Tower Hamlets Foodbank run by Poplar charity First Love Foundation, which has launched a befriending service to help people overcome loneliness during the pandemic. Picture: First Love Foundation

Volunteers helping out at the Tower Hamlets Foodbank run by Poplar charity First Love Foundation, which has launched a befriending service to help people overcome loneliness during the pandemic. Picture: First Love Foundation

First Love

A “befriending service” launched by a crisis support charity in Poplar is helping to combat the growth in loneliness and isolation during lockdown.

First Love Foundation (FLF), which runs Tower Hamlets Foodbank alongside an advice and support project, has contacted 57 people since launching the service.

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This is in addition to the 3,500 people it has supported since lockdown began.

During the pandemic, the charity has seen demand surge more than 900pc, while reorganising their process in line with the guidance.

FLF has also responded to new problems caused by lockdown, such as mental health problems being exacerbated by shielding and social distancing rules, which led to the creation of the befriending service.

“Lockdown has revealed that loneliness is not just an old-age epidemic – with 20 per cent of those using the befriending service being aged between 20 and 39,” a spokesperson said.


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