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A fundraising effort from the ICU therapy team

Thank you BBC East Midlands Today for the video clip and thank you LRI ICU Therapy team for fundraising for us.
We continue to support Lonely people during Covid-19, we are making telephone calls and sending emails/letters to keep in touch.
If you would like to know more about how you can get involved contact our coordinator Sarah – or 07465431585

To watch the video  click the link or visit our facebook page Leicester Western Ward Linking Lives or our twitter page @livesLww

The Via Ferrata – Iron walkway, Scotland


With a huge smile on my face, I faced the biggest challenge I have faced in years. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy – I hurt for days afterwards but I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was truly amazing and breathtaking. The team working that day at vertical descents (Scotland) Danny and Ellie were amazing – full of encouragement and support. I can’t thank them enough, nor my best friend who came with me, supported my every step and filmed it too and then put up with me for the following few days while we were still in Scotland exploring and enjoying a well deserved family holiday, up the mountains, on the beach and by the rivers – it was wonderful to be able to recouperate after the climb in such a beautiful place with such great people around me.

I woke in pain, not a good start to the day but I managed to shake off the disappointment and put on a brave face, I got up and got ready – hair in plaits and looking a little like a children’s tv presenter – we made our way to Kinlochleven, Glen Coe – the starting point for the Via Ferrata. We booked in and as I realised I could be responsible for slowing down 12 other people who may otherwise enjoy a peaceful, rapid climb, I started to feel awkward. With my children watching I had to continue to smile, so instead of panicking or keeping the awkward feeling I spoke to Ellie one of the instructors who were going to be keeping us all safe. She reassured me not to worry spoke with Danny the lead instructor and they moved me to the front to start the climb with Danny right by my side. This was so they would know if I was struggling, they could encourage and support me and the climb couldn’t go faster than me and leave me behind.

The walk to the start of the waterfall was over 10 minutes on uneven ground and it again had me worried, photos were taken at the bottom again by my children so a smile was painted on, then Danny came to fetch me and we began – over a log, balance and walk, I could feel myself shaking, Danny was reassuring me and held my hand as I stepped down from the log, a little desperate for a secure step – I never was good at balance beams. Then I saw what lay ahead and excitement, that sense of wow! kicked in. I was really going to do this, we had had the safety talk it was going to be perfectly safe so long as I remembered to always stay attached to the safety wires. I certainly wasn’t going to forget that – the climb is the height of 2 thirds of the way up the Blackpool tower, I will certainly stay attached but would it scare me? I wasn’t sure, I was just stood in awe of what lay ahead, surrounded by people supporting me, my best friend, Danny and Ellie and I was doing this for Leicester Western Ward Linking Lives – to make a difference to lonely elder people – one of which had passed away on the day I drove to Scotland – I was doing this for her, I was doing this for our wonderful Link Friends – everyone of them. I was doing this to ensure I can truly say I give it my everything, so we can ensure that the befriending scheme has a long life – making a difference to many. One friendship at a time but for a long time, with lots of volunteers – I was leading by example and I was doing this and it was HUGE! Standing at the bottom looking up with all that running through my head and all I could say was “It is Huge!”

I started the climb, with a smile on my face, the sun thankfully shining. Part way up it was getting far too warm for 2 fleece Jumpers – I hadn’t wanted to be cold instead I was hot, too hot so part way up I attached my safety clip leant back – with the support of Danny and Derek and I took off my Jumper, had a drink and then continued to climb – still with a smile. Up ladder type steps, over a wobbly plank and wires, it was amazing and there wasn’t the option to not look down so I made the most of it, the views were breathtaking and the experience was so amazing, we climbed some more then had to walk over a wire bridge, “look down” said Danny as I got to the middle of the bridge – I savoured that moment as the waterfall passed at the side of me then way beneath me, I love waterfalls and I love God – I felt so close to him right then and there, amazed by his creation, amazed by the sun shining down, I know lots of prayers were said asking for that sunshine for my climb, I was amazed that I was doing this climb and I was doing it with a smile on my face and I knew God was right there with us. As the climb continued Danny let me lead he said I was doing so well and so I did but I actually didn’t want the climb to end it was so beautiful. It did have to end though, so after creating some of the most amazing memories I climbed the final steps out over the ridge at the side of the waterfall, I walked those final steps – first to finish a moment completely alone, then my best friend arrived to share the moment, my shrieks of delight at having made it to the top, then one after another the whole group and the instructors arrived. I asked Danny “did I do ok – did I slow everyone down?” His reply surprised me and Ellie agreed “the pace was the perfect pace” they said I did well!

I did it and that was what really mattered to me, so as I took a drink and ate some dark chocolate at the top, looking over the Scottish countryside, thinking of my reasons for doing the climb, I said a prayer and I smiled a huge smile, I knew right then I would happily do it again and I would recommend the experience – it was truly amazing.

The climb itself was an hour and half, but in total including walking to the start point and from the finish point back to the Vertical Descents offices, and safety talk, it took a little short of 2 and half hours.

I raised a little over £700 doing the climb – every step was worth it. I am so proud to be able to say “I did it!”

To see me doing the climb it is on You tube to watch use our link

THANK YOU To Cally, Zara, Derek, Kim, all who have sponsored my adventure and Danny & Ellie – the Vertical Descents team.

or help by donating at https:/

An Update – Our latest News

Time has passed and so much has happened. The scheme has been in existence for 18 months now.

We still provide one to one visiting as a befriending scheme, but we also host Sunday Lunch on the last Sunday of each month at New Parks Methodist Church – Battersbee Road, a midday arrival for a 12.30 roast dinner. It has been a great success – to book or for more details call Sarah 07465431585 or email

We hosted a fundraising dinner – what a wonderful event that was – 40 people booked and were entertained by a local youth drama group – Curtain Call Youth Drama Group. The youth sang some lovely songs to entertain our guests and there was also time for talking with friends and making new friends – all to support Leicester Western Ward Linking Lives.

We have a fundraising donation page now set up for any sponsors or any help you feel you can give please use the site – (the fee for using this site is minimal so your donation really helps)

In April I will be walking up the Via Ferrata at the Grey Mares Tail, in Scotland to raise funds for the vital work that Leicester Western Ward Linking Lives carries out.

We have 18 people attending Sunday Lunches, 3 active matches and some matches that no longer need a one to one visitor as they are once again going out into the community to activities independently.

We are actively seeking financial support and volunteers to ensure our scheme is a great success and has a long active life span.
for more details contact Sarah – Coordinator
07465431585 or email

What an amazing success story

We have had a volunteer visiting one of our ladies for some time (about 9months) and unfortunately our volunteer can no longer commit the time to our befriending scheme – when life’s commitments reduce again she will come back but for now she needs to stop doing weekly visits to our lady.

But wait! I said what a success! An amazing success in fact and it is because although the volunteer can no longer volunteer, her friendship with the lady she has been visiting has become so strong that neither want to lose touch just because of a lack of available time, instead they are going to be proper friends whereby visits occur when it is suitable for both parties around the hectic life of our previous volunteer.  Yes that means the lady won’t have weekly visits but instead she will have a friend on the end of the phone who drops by when she can.  Not because she is volunteering but because they are friends – there lies the amazing success.  These 2 lovely ladies were matched so well that the natural friendship has taken over and developed, conversation flows naturally, the laughter rings out when the two of them are together and all this from an hour a week.  Whilst we lose a volunteer, our lovely lady does not lose her friend but instead they become friends outside of the scheme.

With regards to reducing this ladies level of loneliness we have, with regards to her one request; to laugh again, we achieved this – at this point the lady who needed a friend so much, has one.

Unfortunately the lady will once again be alone for periods of time but her mood is lifted, it is more positive and brighter.  We will, of course reassess this lady with a view to providing her a new volunteer should she wish us to, but in the meantime her heart is happy knowing her friend is only a phone call away.  These two lovely ladies have shared so much over their short friendship, so much that their friendship will live on and we have alleviated loneliness #onefriendshipatatime

If you think you can make this sort of difference to someone

ring Sarah (volunteer coordinator) 07465431585


or write to Leicester Western Ward Linking Lives c/o 22 Triumph Road, Leicester.  LE3 8FR

We ask volunteers if they can give as little as an hour or two a week or a fortnight (plus time for induction and safeguarding training, DBS check, references and interview) Put a smile back on someone’s face – end their loneliness by becoming their friend

Together we can make a difference – Giving the gift of friendship!

Our befriending service covers New Parks, Kirby Frith, Braunstone Frith, Western Park and Dane Hills – in Leicester’s Western Ward.

Give funds or give time – Help us to make a difference!

Volunteers are needed to make a difference in the lives of lonely people with in the Western Ward of Leicester, but finding volunteers is not easy.  Why would anyone want to volunteer? with the Linking Lives scheme you volunteer to be a friend to someone which is something we all do everyday so no extra skills are necessary – being yourself is enough.  Being yourself is an amazing gift for the person you could visit through our scheme.  You would be providing company and friendship – someone for them to laugh with, someone they can talk about the weather with, someone they can eat cake with.  All the things they would otherwise be doing alone and all the things that you wouldn’t make time for in your busy lives but you can, you can volunteer to be a befriender with Leicester Western Ward Linking Lives and justify that hour or two a week, to just sit and enjoy the company of a friend.

As a volunteer you will be trained in what we expect, as a professional befriending service and safeguarding, DBS and reference checked, and fully supported with regular invites to tea with other volunteers too.

We also need Funds, every service, every charity, every scheme needs funding so why would you want to give to this scheme.  This is a scheme that is run as a charity no one financially profits from this scheme – all donations cover the running costs.  We regularly provide tea for our volunteers to ensure they feel appreciated and stay connected to the scheme.  We also need funds to begin occasional meals for service users and other lonely adults within the area.  We need to be able to continue this scheme and grow this scheme to meet the needs of the Western Ward of Leicester’s lonely, aging population.  Loneliness and social isolation have a negative impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of a person, we aim to reduce the negative impact experienced in our area.  Research suggests that this scheme will help save other services money in the long term, services like the police and the NHS.

But our scheme costs money to run – if you wish to make a donation please contact us via email or telephone, or donate using the giving page

Every little donated will help us achieve a lot.

For more details email or call 07465431585.

Help us to make a difference give funds or give time.

The Importance of Volunteers

Our Volunteers are vital to the work we are doing.

Without willing, compassionate volunteers we couldn’t even begin to reduce isolation in the Western Ward.  Volunteers need to be appreciated and respected, they give their time, willingly.
Here at Leicester Western Ward Linking Lives we are hosting bi-monthly volunteer teas to keep in touch with our volunteers and to show our appreciation for the friendship they are offering to others.
Together we can reduce loneliness and isolation among the over 60’s, in the Western Ward.

Since we began only a year ago we are still a small befriending service but already we have visits taking place each week, coffee and chats, wanders in the park, popping to a coffee shop.  All activities our Link friends haven’t enjoyed for a while and facilitated by our Wonderful Volunteers.

In order to grow we need more volunteers.

Volunteers that are kind, compassionate, friendly and real, real people with real interests to provide real friendships to our Link friends.
Volunteers have to give up time for training, be prepared to undergo reference and DBS checks and be willing to give an hour or 2 of their time each week and be willing to follow all our safeguarding and other policies, they also have to be patient, for I match them carefully with someone whom they can have a genuine friendship with.

We always need more volunteers as there are too many people living in our area that are Isolated and lonely, we can combat this together. If you wish to volunteer or know more about volunteering or if you wish to use our free befriending service contact Sarah 07465431585, or write to
Sarah Tavener
Leicester Western Ward Linking Lives
c/o 22 Triumph Road
And remember Volunteers are unpaid heroes, schemes like ours couldn’t exist without them.

Looking for Volunteers

We are looking for volunteers, who can spend an hour a week being a friend to an adult within the Western Ward of Leicester.  The adult will be over 60 years old but volunteers of all ages are welcome.

The volunteering process will involve DBS checks and references and training sessions to be undertaken.

The benefit of volunteering for us is that you can develop a mutual friendship with an adult who needs company.  Together we can reduce loneliness in Leicester’s Western Ward.

If you are interested in volunteering contact Sarah Tavener (Coordinator) on 07465431585 or email