New centre to combat loneliness in city

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The official opening of a welcoming new Preston-based centre is being held next month.

The Preston Wings Centre on Fishergate is being officially opened on June 6.

The centre is run by volunteers and is part of the charity the Royal Air Forces Association which has created a befriending project aimed at helping ex-veterans who may feel lonely or isolated.

It currently has 12 volunteers but aims to get up to 20.

Manager of the Wings Centre Ian Barber said he wanted to make the centre a hub where people can do group activities and socialise.

He said: “We are open to all, not only the Armed Forces community, and also whilst we have recruited 12 wonderful volunteers so far, we are still looking for more volunteers interested in a customer service role.”

In March 2016 the Royal Air Forces Association started a befriending scheme to provide one-to-one support for those in need of companionship. The Wings Centre will offer a group setting to get involved with the association and aims to offer a safe meeting place for members and beneficiaries to come along and share experiences whilst building new friendships.

It will develop a rolling programme of facilitated activities and events reflecting the desires of the local community. One volunteer said on Facebook: “I have just become a volunteer here and it is the most welcoming of places. The kettle is always on and I am looking forward to spending my Tuesdays there for many years to come.”

For more information about the centre and the event check PrestonWingsCentre Facebook page.