MORE than 1,600 people have benefitted from a service that helps those who are lonely and isolated.

The countywide service, Reconnections launched two years ago.

Reconnections aims to reduce loneliness in Worcestershire.

Around 35,000 people in the county suffer from loneliness or social isolation.

One of the people helped by the service is Doreen, 81, who said: “I’ve come alive again.

"Now that I’m going out, I feel so happy that I’m looking to buy new clothes again. I haven’t seen my dentist for three years but I’m doing that as well. Reconnections is the best thing that my doctor has ever prescribed for me.

"I went for my 81st MOT and it’s the best thing my doctor could have given me. They are all marvellous.”

Doreen moved to Worcestershire to be near her daughter, who sadly passed away.

Her declining mobility and lack of local friends and family left her feeling lonely and depressed.

After she was referred to the service by her local GP, Doreen was matched to Reconnections volunteer Linda who regularly visits and calls.

With Linda’s help, Doreen is now getting out more and growing in confidence.

She has joined in with several trips and activities.

Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, councillor John Smith, said: "I'm proud that Worcestershire is leading the way in this field."

To refer a lonely older person or to volunteer with Reconnections, call 01905 740954 or visit