April 2015

PCP’s Health Buddy service was at the centre of an assessment which looks at management and resources, service user involvement, matching processes, and the outcomes achieved.

PCP Health Buddy ServiceThe Approved Provider Standard (APS) is the national quality standard designed specifically for mentoring and befriending projects, it is externally assessed by the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation therefore PCP were delighted to successfully achieve the Standard, which lasts for 3 years.

Carol Gaskarth, PCP’s Chief Executive says “PCP has been delivering mentoring and befriending support in County Durham for over 2 years and I am very pleased that our supportive approach and robust systems enabled us to gain the Standard. The Assessor spoke to staff, volunteers and most importantly clients to see how they found the service, PCP passed ‘with flying colours’ which demonstrates how valuable the service is to people.

Social isolation is a real problem for many people in our community and the Health Buddy Service helps to tackle some of these issues. Evidence suggests that those with strong social and community networks are more likely to be healthier and happier. Social isolation is associated with poor physical, mental and emotional health so we need to do what we can to help people become more active.

The Health Buddy Service provides a volunteer ‘Buddy’ who can visit people in their home, support them to attend a local group or help them to attend appointments. A regular friendly face and a chat can bring so much happiness to people and help to improve their relationships locally.

Thanks to the staff and volunteers involved in providing such a high quality mentoring and befriending experience, your hard work is appreciated by both the organisation and those who use the service”

The Health Buddy scheme is currently funded through the East Durham Rural Corridor Area Action Partnership and offers flexible, short term assistance to people over 50 years of age from trained volunteer Health Buddies.

The Health Buddy scheme is also looking for volunteer befrienders, if you live Bowburn, Coxhoe, Trimdon, Fishburn or Sedgefield, are patient and reliable then this could be an ideal opportunity for you. A full training and support package will be provided by PCP.

For further information contact tel: 01325 321234 email: website:

Or find PCP on Twitter: @PioneeringCare and Facebook: /PCPandCentre