COMMUNITY Action is launching a major new initiative in Malvern to tackle the problem of loneliness among older people.

And the group has launched an appeal for volunteers to take part in the Helping hand project, visiting people in their own homes to cheer them up.

The group says that 12 per cent of over 65s admit to feeling lonely and some can’t remember the last time another person smiled at them.

Community Action chairman Chris Kirk said: “Helping Hands is our exciting new initiative which we have developed within the Malvern area. It will enhance the services we already provide and continue our aim of reducing social isolation in our community.”

The group will be recruiting for volunteers at the Morrisons supermarket in Malvern Retail Park on Monday and Tuesday, September 5 and 6.

“When someone tells you that you are the first person they have spoken to in two weeks, it makes my heart sink,” says Yvonne Kennedy who is setting up the project.

"To get this new project off the ground we need new volunteers, people who can spare a couple of hours a week to brighten someone’s day and provide much-needed support.

"This will involve volunteers visiting clients in their own homes for a few hours to do domestic tasks such as shopping, light housework, gardening and help with phone calls and letters. It is hoped that this would be on a regular basis so that each volunteer and client can build a rapport.

“We are hoping this service will combine seeing a friendly face with helping someone do jobs they haven’t been able to do for ages. We are hugely grateful to Morrisons for giving us the opportunity to promote the service at their Malvern store."

Anyone who wants to volunteer and can't make it to Morrisons, is urged to contact 01684 892381 or

Community Action was founded over 40 years ago and runs minibus and car community transport programmes as well as social activities such as Sunday Tea Club, Cinema Club and Shoparound.