‘Vital’ group set for small screen

Bev Sykes
Bev Sykes
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A popular Fylde coast group which was set up to offer a friendly face to those feeling a little bit lonely has celebrated its one year anniversary – and is set for an appearance on the BBC’s The One Show.

Just Good Friends, based in St Annes, was set up by Bev Sykes last year and, say organisers, has gone from strength to strength ever since.

She was inspired to set up the group after feeling lonely herself following the death of her mother. It is described as a social group where people can go to meet others and relax.

The group, which is open to all, currently has more than 40 members, with 25 to 30 of those regularly attending the weekly meetings.

Bev said: “There is a big need for something like this. There are lots of lonely, isolated people about and this is the perfect place for them.

“People want to come and help”.

Since its formation, the group has been involved in a series of outings and events.

Last Christmas, members collected, wrapped, and distributed presents to under privileged children and children’s homes within the Fylde coast area.

More recently, the group made a journey to Blackburn where they appeared on Sally Naden’s BBC Radio Lancashire brunch time show.

And as a result of their radio appearance, BBC One’s The One Show has been in touch and have interviewed various members of the group.

Just Good Friends will appear on the show next Monday, November 25.

Bev also told of the connection the group has with Silverline, the initiative set up by Esther Rantzen. She said: “Silverline is similar to Just Good Friends because it aims to support vulnerable older people, sign-post them to projects and services, and tackle the problems of abuse and neglect”.

As part of the connection, Esther Rantzen will also be appearing on The One Show next Monday afternoon.

If you would like to join Just Good Friends, the group meets every Saturday from 2pm until 4pm at YMCA, St Albans Road, St Annes. Contact organisor Bev Sykes on 07557 734233.

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