Just Good Friends group aims to combat loneliness

The Victoria Hotel have donated money to Just Good Friends.  Members are pictured with general manager Annamarie Pearson and area manager Ben Hardwick holding the cheque.
The Victoria Hotel have donated money to Just Good Friends. Members are pictured with general manager Annamarie Pearson and area manager Ben Hardwick holding the cheque.
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You’ve got a friend in Annamarie!

That’s certainly the case for the Just Good Friends group who meet at a St Annes pub managed by Annamarie Pearson.

The general manager of The Victoria Hotel has thrown her weight behind fund-raising for Just Good Friends –a group which aims to combat loneliness, isolation and bring people together in friendship.

Members meet at the venue on Church Road every Tuesday from 1pm until 4pm for an afternoon of fun and laughter.

And there was even more joy than usual at a recent gathering when Annamarie presented the group with a cheque for £500 to go towards the Just Good Friends minibus appeal.

Annamarie, who took over the running of The Victoria Hotel on November 8 last year, said: “The Just Good Friends group already met up here every Tuesday.

“I told them I’d like to keep them on but do something for them and raise some funds for the group.

“There are anything between 20 and 45 people every Tuesday.

“We have an organist Roy Rolland and everyone loves him.

“People get up for a bit of a dance.”

The money was raised through a weekly raffle and football cards.

Annamarie added: “Just Good Friends really is a lifeline for people.

“It’s really important to combat loneliness.

“If we all work as a community and get this minibus, it would make a massive difference to our lonely people.

“The minibus is going to cost £3,500.

“It would really help people who struggle to get out to get to the Just Good Friends meetings.”

The pub is planning more fund-raising events in the future.

Annamarie added: ““We’re doing car boot sales, a party to celebrate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding on Tuesday, May 8 and football cards to raise money for Just Good Friends.

“We have new people coming along all the time, so don’t be frightened to give it a go.

“Everyone gets on so well.”

To find out more about Just Good Friends meetings hear you, visit https://justgoodfriends.org.uk