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Have your say on future mental health services in County Durham

One in four adults reported feeling lonely during the COVID-19 restrictions, signaling a review of community needs.

An NHS and leading charity partnership is appealing for individuals and organisations to share their views on future befriending and peer support service models.

Funded by the NHS County Durham Clinical Commissioning Group (Durham CCG) and delivered by the Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP), virtual focus groups are set to take place on Monday 15th November from 10am until 11am, and Tuesday 23rd November from 6pm until 7pm.

Sandra Roberts, Project Lead of Mental Health Services at PCP, said: “Befriending services are vital in offering support to individuals and groups in communities who are socially isolated and suffering from loneliness.

“The focus groups hosted by PCP’s Befriending Research Project team are open to anyone who has used a befriending, mentoring or peer support services, those who work within this field or similar, or anyone who ultimately wishes to share their views on this type of service.

“It’s an opportunity to have your say and impact a real change to mental health support available in County Durham.”

Findings so far from the Befriending Research Project are focused heavily on the effects of COVID-19 and how it has challenged traditional face-to-face befriending support.

To sign up to the focus groups, contact Research Officers, Kelly Carswell ( and Vic Dixon ( to register your interest.

For future updates on the Befriending Research Project and PCP, please follow PCP’s Facebook and Twitter and Instagram @PioneeringCare

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