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A new lifeline at Walsall Link Line, thanks to Friendship Care and Housing

THE ribbon has been cut on a new community centre that will help tackle isolation amongst the elderly in Walsall.

For over a decade, Walsall Link Line has provided a befriending service to isolated people in the community and now offer specialist support to people living with dementia and their carers, as well as adults with mental health problems.

The charity officially opened its new centre at Cavendish Gardens earlier this month after Friendship Care and Housing (FCH), part of Longhurst Group, provided the use of the previously disused facility.

FCH’s contractors, Novus Property Solutions and SR Property Services have helped to completely redecorate the building, with the latter providing and fitting a new kitchen free of charge.

Link Line’s army of volunteers will use the community space to host free sessions that will give local senior citizens the chance to meet up for a chat over a coffee, make new friends and get practical support, help and advice.

The new centre will also enable the charity to expand its dementia services with the opening of a reminiscence room, which is designed to trigger the memories of those living with the condition, as well as providing a calm and reassuring environment.

Manager of Link Line, Mandy Keay said: “To have a new centre is absolutely brilliant for Link Line and it such a generous gift from Friendship Care and Housing; we really can’t thank them enough.

“It means we can expand our work with isolated members of our community, such as the elderly, including those living with dementia, and more recently, adults with mental health issues.

“We’ve been running for 11 years and to now have our own base is absolutely fantastic; it really is the icing on the cake for us, it is brilliant to have it officially opened.”

Louise Wheeler, business support officer with FCH, added: “I am so pleased to have been part of this project and it is really fantastic to see a disused space brought back to life for such an important local charity.

“The work Walsall Link Line do is so crucial to so many people; whether they just need someone to speak to each week, or if they are living with dementia or care for someone who is.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the extra support, coffee morning and activities they can provide thanks to having this fantastic new space to work from.”

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