A MID Essex hospice has announced the launch of a volunteer-led befriending service.

Farleigh Helpers launches on September 13, and is an online and telephone befriending service run by Farleigh Hospice volunteers.

It will assist those who are ill, bereaved, feeling lonely, isolated or in need of someone to talk to.

Farleigh Helpers will listen and signpost people to relevant information or professional services where appropriate.

Michelle Von Kimmelmann, Farleigh Hospice volunteer and corporate administration manager said: "We’re so pleased to be launching this new service.

"It has been in the pipeline for some time now, so it is great to see all of our planning come to fruition.

"We were aware that there are people in our community who need a friend or some advice and support, and, as a community focused charity, we wanted to be able to extend the care we offer to beyond our usual remit to bridge this gap."

The service will initially run from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and will be extended to cover weekends dependant on demand.

To arrange a call back from a Farleigh Helper call 01245 933800 or email farleigh.helpers@farleighhospice.org.

The hospice is also looking to expand its team of Farleigh Helpers.

Anyone interested should visit www.farleighhospice.org/farleighhelpers for more information and to complete an application form.