Homecare provider ‘branches out’ offering ‘buddies’ to combat loneliness and offer companionship


Manorcourt Homecare, a provider of home-based care services in Hornchurch, is launching an innovative new scheme, offering friendship and informal support to people of all ages and abilities in the local area.

The new ‘Branch Out’ service offers people in and around Hornchurch with a ‘Branch Out Buddy’ to help with everything from accompanying them on outings, such as to the shops, music concerts, sporting events or the hairdressers, through to helping with daily chores and meal preparation Alternatively, it can be as simple as sharing a coffee and conversation together to help combat loneliness.

The team at the Hornchurch branch have found that there is a gap for a community-based companionship service of this kind, where informal help with day-to-day activities is available.

Statistics show that there are around 1.2 million chronically lonely older people in the UK, and half a million older people go at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all*. This number will be significantly higher across all age groups. The Branch Out service therefore aims to address this, helping communities understand that no one needs to feel alone.

Via the service, a Buddy can visit at any time of the day to suit individual needs and any number of visits can be booked.

Manager of the Hornchurch branch, Lisa McDonald said, “We’re really excited to launch this new service in Hornchurch. The Branch Out Buddy provides something completely different to our standard ‘care’ packages and are available to any age group or ability.

“It’s a completely flexible, informal visiting service that can be as simple as popping round for a chat and a game of cards, preparing a meal together, or even taking someone out to their favourite pastime, such as to a quiz night, karaoke, football match or bingo!

“We know that having a visitor from time to time can make all the difference to someone living alone. The aim of our Branch Out service is to give someone something to look forward to or to simply make their lives that little bit easier.”

The Hornchurch branch is also actively recruiting more buddies to fulfil the Branch Out service. It offers a fabulous opportunity for those looking for flexible work to select sociable hours to suit, whether it’s around children’s school times for parents or for semi-retired or retired people who may be looking for additional income during the mornings, afternoons or early evenings.

Adds Lisa: “Becoming a Branch Out Buddy opens up a new career opportunity for people looking for complete flexibility and in a role that promises to be extremely rewarding. Our Buddies will have the opportunity to make a real difference to the day-to-day lives of people in their local community – at hours that suit. Full training will be provided and I encourage anyone looking for a job with a difference to get in touch.”


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