Men wanted to tackle male loneliness epidemic

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AN OLDER people’s charity has launched a manhunt for men to join its ranks in a bid to shed its ‘for women only’ reputation.

Launched in 1938 as the Women’s Voluntary Services, the WRVS founder Lady Reading attracted more than one million women volunteers to lend their support on the home front during the war.

Now WRVS supports older people and the charity wants more men to volunteer.

Less than a fifth of its 40,000 cohort are male (6,342) despite research showing an appetite to volunteer – 29 per cent are either currently volunteering or plan to start this year.

More male volunteers are particularly needed to tackle the loneliness experienced by many older men, which can have a detrimental effect on their health and wellbeing.

This follows recent research by the charity which found that 190,000 men over the age of 75 suffer from feelings of loneliness.

David McCullough, the charity’s chief executive, said: “WRVS has had male volunteers since at least 1949, but with an ageing population we now need more men to join the charity to provide practical help and companionship to the older people we support.

“We urge all of the men planning to volunteer this year to add WRVS to their wish list of charities to approach.”

Any men in south east Northumberland looking to register an interest in volunteering can visit www.wrvs.org.uk or call 0845 601 4670.