SINCE 2016, Age UK Isle of Wight has teamed up with Cowes based Megan Baker Estate Agents in an effort to raise local awareness of those struggling with loneliness.

Each year the charity’s befriending scheme asks for volunteer support for its Island-wide Good Neighbour Scheme befriending programme.

Fundraising for the campaign is usually supported by Age UK IW’s Christmas Film Festival at Cineworld, which was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

While monetary donations were down for the year, volunteer recruitment was at an all-time high with many residents coming forward to help with the scheme.

All funds raised stay on the Island, helping the charity provide more support and companionship to older Island residents.

Elisha Leachman, Age UK IW fundraising manager, said: "2020 saw the fifth year of the annual campaign.

"Through the generosity of our amazing Island community and wonderfully supportive sponsors Megan Baker Estate Agents, we have raised more than £18,000 to date and recruited many local volunteers to support the cause.

"I would like to remind everyone now more than ever, nobody should have nobody. If you are lonely please get in touch today.”

The Age UK Isle of Wight website hosts a ‘Loneliness Hub’ filled with information and advice about the many services available to support those in need.