Feeling lonely? Join the party!

Bev Sykes has put together a Just Good Friends group at St Annes YMCA.  She is pictured centre with Wyn Hodge-Smyth (L) and Joanne Kendall (R).
Bev Sykes has put together a Just Good Friends group at St Annes YMCA. She is pictured centre with Wyn Hodge-Smyth (L) and Joanne Kendall (R).
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A COMMUNITY group for people who want a chat over a cuppa has been set up for people in Blackpool.

Just Good Friends meets every Saturday, and offers a friendly chat with a cup of tea for people who are feeling a little bit lonely.

It is also a chance for anyone who wants to help people who are on their own to get involved in the community.

The friendship group has been set up by Bev Sykes, of Whitethorne Mews, St Annes.

She said: “Basically this is all about bringing the community together and helping people out. It’s been going for seven weeks, and people are coming back, so we must be doing something right.

“I really want this to grow.”

Bev, 59, said she had several ideas of people to bring in to offer help and support.

The group, which meets at St Annes YMCA in St Albans Road, has already been visited by a local police officer, and Bev will invite the fire service in for some health and safety advice.

Age UK and Help Direct have already pledged their support.

Bev, who works in the criminal justice department at Blackpool Central Police Station, said she came up with the idea for the group after watching a television programme about lonely people.

“I just thought it was so sad there was the possibility in this area people like that on their own,” she said.

“I just want everybody to be there for each other and to help each other out.”

Bev said it was her aim to launch a buddy scheme off the back of the friendship group.

“I just want to make a difference to the community where I live,” she added.