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Weekly calls on readers to ‘buddy up’ with lonely older people

A weekly newspaper has called on readers to “buddy up” with older people in a bit to combat loneliness.

The Derbyshire Times is encouraging readers to volunteer some of their time to do things like make phone calls and write letters to those who are in need of contact.

The Chesterfield-based weekly is also highlighting the work being done by local charities and organisations to combat loneliness as part of the ‘Buddy Up!’ campaign.

The drive is being backed by Age UK Derby and Derbyshire.

The campaign's launch feature on the front page of the Times

The campaign’s launch featured on the front page of the Times

In a message to readers, editor Nancy Fielder said: “Loneliness is the most miserable thing – it can cripple you with sadness.

“To be brutally honest, there have been times when I have wanted to cry at just how isolated thousands people in this county are – and I have spoken to many others who feel the same yet don’t know how to help.

“It is great to talk to your neighbour and do what you can for those you know – but what about everybody else out there with no family nearby?

“I am so excited about this campaign – it will make an incredible difference to the lives of Derbyshire people very quickly and very easily.

“There is no sense of happiness that compares to helping others and few things as agonising yet simple to ease as loneliness. Please get involved if you can.”