30 days friendship image

‘An old fashioned Cowboy and a Hi-tech Astronaut’

‘An old fashioned Cowboy and a Hi-tech Astronaut’

‘A bunch of misfits on a hunt for treasure, fighting a family of gangsters on an underground pirate ship’

‘ A group of 20-somethings regularly meeting in a coffee shop to discuss the ups and downs of their lives’

From Toy Story, to The Goonies, to a show literally titled ‘Friends’, the importance of friendship is a common theme in popular culture. The importance of having an individual, or a group of people who support you through the bad times, celebrate the good times and generally know you inside out. Friendship really is one of life’s great blessings, but what happens when the friendship’s fade?, when your friends have gone or its now too difficult for you to leave your own home and get out there?

This is the reality that many of today’s older generation are facing, with loneliness now being ranked as more harmful than obesity, to the wellbeing of our nation.

This November, Cyril Flint are on a mission to change all that, with their #30daysoffriendship campaign. Throughout the month there will be the opportunity to get involved in lots of different fundraising activities – all with the aim of raising much needed funds for the charity and increasing awareness of the difference it can make just having a friend.

In recent studies is has been found that those who had a close group of friends, and were actively engaged in social activities, were likely to live longer and be healthier overall. Because let’s face it, regardless of your age friendships make you feel happier, increase your sense of belonging, keep your mind alert and active as well as reducing stress levels – all of which greatly contribute to an improvement in physical and mental wellbeing.

Living with loneliness can be extremely painful and can have a detrimental effect on a person’s mood and their mental health. Many elderly people with early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s can find that their symptoms are accelerated by the lack of social interaction and stimulation in their day to day lives.

Cyril Flint Befrienders, aim to combat loneliness and social isolation in elderly people in Greater Manchester through friendship; they match lonely older people up with a volunteer befriender who visits them for an hour a week. Although an hour may not seem much, older people who access the service tell us that having a befriender makes a huge difference to their mood; don’t believe me? – just look at the testimonials! Friendships and human contact matter, and can make a real genuine impact on the life of a lonely or isolated person.

So what are you waiting for? – get out there and get involved, it can be as simple as going round for a brew and a biscuit, or putting some loose change into a donation box, but believe me it really does make a difference.

For more information about the #30daysoffriendship campaign or the work that Cyril Flint do, explore our website further or follow us on social media: Twitter: @CyrilFlintBefriender and Facebook: CyrilFlintBefrienders

Special thanks to Anna Morrissey from Block 8 for her guest blog. Block 8 offers digital consultancy and designs bespoke business systems for your company. Click on their logo to visit their website:

Block 8 Logo


Help Cyril Flint win £25,000 funding!

aviva-logo-and-handsCyril Flint Befrienders have entered this year’s Aviva Community Fund competition to try to win £25,000 funding. Each year the Aviva Community Fund sets different categories of funding pots and invites worthy causes to apply for grants of up to £25,000. The way the competition works is that all projects are shortlisted solely by public vote, and the voting is currently open to the public until 21st November. We have applied for £25,000 to help towards our running costs to enable us to continue operating and carry on reaching more isolated and lonely older people across Greater Manchester.

Here’s how you can vote for us:

1. https://www.aviva.co.uk/good-thinking/community-fund/ and click ‘vote now’

2. Complete the short registration

3. Search ‘Cyril Flint’

4. You then  have 10 votes to use on worthy causes (you can use all 10 on us if you want!)

Thank you for your support!

social lites wi

Spotlight on Social Lites WI

social lites wiSocial Lites WI are another fabulous team participating in our Accumulator Challenge and we want to tell you about the great work they’ve done so far to raise awareness and fundraise for Cyril Flint Befrienders!

As part of this year’s WI initiative, all WI’s are committing to taking action to ‘Alleviate Loneliness’. After learning about our befriending service and the work our volunteers do in the community to help combat loneliness, Caroline and the Social Lites team were keen to help. They have done a huge variety of fundraising initiatives from Jarbolas to Jumble Trails to Afternoons Tea, to name the Teddy! They are keen to get everyone involved and have so far raised an impressive £600 but are keen to bump this up to £1000 by the 30th September competition end date.

To donate to their team’s fundraising, click here.


Afternoon tea 4

Spotlight on Small Group Angels

Small Group Angels-page-0

Our Accumulator Challenge is an event aimed at raising vital funds, as well as awareness of Cyril Flint Befrienders and the work we are doing to combat loneliness and isolation in the elderly residents in Greater Manchester.

We were delighted when one of our existing Volunteer Befrienders asked if she could form a group to take part! Small Group Angels is a team set up by one of our Volunteer Befriender’s Sarah. Sarah has been volunteering with us since 2016 and befriends a gentleman called Donald. Sarah has recruited a few friends and together they have formed the Small Group Angels to participate in the challenge. The group have tried to think outside the box when it comes to fundraising ideas and kicked off their fundraising with a Smarties challenge whereby they gave tubes of Smarties away and asked that after people had enjoyed the chocolate inside, they then filled them with loose change. This idea raised over £150!

The team then got baking and hosted their own Afternoon Tea in their back garden. The British weather was kind to them and they had a lovely sunny day and very full garden, with a grand total of £415 being raised! Sarah also brought along Donald as guest of honour! Their next and final event is going to be a Wine Tasting evening, which they are hoping will bring their fundraising up to £1000!

To donate to their team’s fundraising click here.


OT Wonder Women WI

Spotlight on Old Trafford Wonder Women WI

OT Wonder Women

Cyril Flint Befrienders launched our first ever Accumulator Challenge earlier this year, where we invited teams to sign up and compete to see who could raise the most funds in a six month period. All teams were given £50 each and tasked to be as creative as possible to turn this into as much money as possible for the charity to help us in our mission to combat loneliness in the elderly.

With the competition now nearing its completion, with the final day for fundraising being 30th September 2017, we wanted to shine some light on our brilliant teams and the tireless work they have been doing since April to fundraise.

The WI’s across the country have voted to campaign to alleviate loneliness. Even before the vote had been cast, OT Wonder Women WI had decided they wanted to support Cyril Flint in some way as they were touched by the work we do in the local community. The group have done a variety of fundraising events over the last few months, with the most funds being raised at Old Trafford Picnic Day, where the group had a cake stall and some bistro table and chairs set out. The team sold cakes and refreshments and provided table service with the help of the local Brownies and had a very successful day raising £500 for Cyril Flint Befrienders!

Their next event is a Jumble Trail in Old Trafford, where residents set up stalls at the end of their drives to sell items they no longer need, old treasures and bric a brac! Be sure to give the Trail a visit on Saturday 16th September in Old Trafford. Last year over 50 houses took part so it’s sure to be a bug event!

To donate to their fundraising click here.


PHMG logo

Spotlight on PHMG

PHMG climb Snowdon for Cyril Flint

In April this year Cyril Flint Befrienders launched our first ever Accumulator Challenge. We invited teams to sign up and compete to see who could raise the most funds in a six month period. All teams were given £50 each and tasked to be as creative as possible to turn this into as much money as possible for the charity to help us in our mission to combat loneliness in the elderly.

With the competition now nearing its completion, the final day for fundraising being 30th September 2017, we wanted to shine some light on our brilliant teams and the tireless work they have been doing since April to fundraise.

Having fundraised an amazing £3636.70 in 2015-16 for Cyril Flint Befrienders, the Music Team at PHMG were excited to sign up for our Accumulator Challenge this year. From the outset their aim was to do something big and after toying with a few ideas they decided to climb Snowdon. They knew this would be a challenge but felt it still didn’t stand out enough and so opted to climb Snowdon by moonlight to make it that bit more difficult!

The support the team received was outstanding and they raised a huge £1700! The team are now busy arranging their next event, a music quiz, which should be a little kinder on their tired legs!

To donate to the team’s fundraising, click here.



Take 5 minutes to help us win £25,000 to combat loneliness

This year Cyril Flint Befrienders has entered the Aviva Community Fund Awards. Aviva grants funds of different levels to charities and community projects across the country, so as you can imagine, the competition is tough!

Funding is crucial to enable us to carry on doing the invaluable work we and our volunteers are doing across Greater Manchester to help tackle loneliness and social isolation. We have entered for £25,000 funding which will be a huge help towards our running costs.

We are really proud of the work done to date by us and our incredible group of dedicated volunteers, to help end loneliness. We consider our befriending service to be mutually beneficial to all involved; the older people feel less isolated and lonely because they have a new friend and our volunteers feel a great sense of achievement and pride at the difference they have made to someone’s life by dedicating just an hour of their week to volunteer.

The shortlisting process is completed solely by public vote and we really need your help to get us shortlisted. All you need to do to help us be in with a chance of winning is vote! Our project is called ‘Befrienders to end loneliness’ Please follow this link: https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/acfcms/get-involved

Voting closes 18th November 2016 so please get your votes in before then. Please feel free to share with friends, family and colleagues and really help boost our votes.

Thank you in advance for your support!



HSG fundraisers photo

Our fundraising heroes!

Darren, Gaige, Harley and Mark, employees at The Human Support Group, completed the Manchester 10k on Sunday 22nd May 2016. The team have varied experience of running and all saw the 10k as a big challenge, however they all managed to complete the race in under an hour! The team chose to donate their sponsorship money to Cyril Flint Volunteers and this came to a huge £1062! We are very grateful for the team’s support and this money will go towards helping reduce loneliness in older people in the community.

Zoe, also an employee of The Human Support Group, competed in the Ladies National Angling Championships 2016 and managed to rank at an impressive 10th place, (higher than some of the pros who were competing!) and raised a huge £435 for Cyril Flint Volunteers Charity!

Cyril Flint is a registered charity and so not only do we rely on volunteers and all the hard work they do, but we also require funding to keep delivering the service we offer. We believe that no older person should be lonely. Most people have been affected by loneliness in one way or another during their life, most of us are lucky that this may only be a fleeting feeling. Unfortunately lots of the older people who are referred to us have little or no interaction with others and as such feel lonely most of the time. You can appreciate the huge impact this can have, not only on a person’s mood, but also on their health, well-being and self-esteem. We aim to help reduce the amount of lonely older people in the local community by matching them with a volunteer befriender who can spend an hour a week with them, hopefully on a long term basis, enabling them to form a genuine and long-lasting friendship which really makes a difference to the older person’s life.

If you or your company would like to raise money to help support Cyril Flint Volunteers, please get in touch by email wordpress@cyrilflint.org, Facebook Cyrilflintvolunteers, or by calling 0161 942 9465.


Solicitors turn footballers for charity!

The staff at the Manchester branch of Mills and Reeve LLP have been fundraising throughout the year collecting donations via  a football tournament, bake sales and other events to raise money for charity. The law firm selected Cyril Flint Volunteers as their joint office Charity of the year 2015 – 2016 after a recommendation from one of their employees, Elaine, who has been a volunteer with Cyril Flint for several years. We are pleased to say that the firm managed to raise a sizeable £811 for Cyril Flint Volunteers and this will help us to continue to help lonely older people in the Manchester area.

The Partners of Manchester Mills and Reeve LLP have also selected Cyril Flint Volunteers as one of the local charities they wish to support and have donated a further £1975 from their Charitable Trust!

The team at Cyril Flint would like to pass on a HUGE thank you to all who helped to raise money and all of those who donated!


Money Changes Everything….

Or so Cyndi Lauper said!

Did you know Billions of pounds are given to charities every year, but most of this money finds its way to the highest profile names – which leaves smaller organisations without the power of well known brands struggling to survive? As disposable income remains low for many of us this undoubtedly has an impact on smaller, local charities and community groups. These are the lynch pins at the heart of a community, which can often make a huge difference to those who fall through the cracks of traditional services. These are the charities that don’t enjoy the benefits of celebrity endorsements or significant corporate backing. Like us, these charities rely on donations from their immediate community and the volunteered time of the local community.

By supporting a smaller, local Charity you even a modest donation can have a major impact. Money given to smaller charities is far less likely to have to go through the bureaucracy of the bigger charities, being used for admin costs and expensive marketing campaigns, for example.

Cyril Flint have an active fundraising programme and easy to access (and secure!) ways to donate online. There’s lots of ways to get involved!

And if making a financial donation isn’t possible perhaps you can help us in other ways.

We are currently looking for:

  • Daredevils and thrill seekers to take part in a charity bungee jump, there’s no upfront cost for participants as long as you can reach your fundraising target
  • Good quality Bric-a-Brac and books to sell at Fundraising Fairs
  • Cakes and tray bakes – any keen bakers please get in touch!
  • Anyone that can host a collection tin or bucket in your shop/office etc
  • Businesses that places lots of online orders (stationary/other goods etc) – every purchase can help raise money for free via  easyfundraising.

Or perhaps you are a local business looking to focus employee fundraising for those who don’t have a cause in mind when they run a marathon or host a dress down day. There’s also fantastic branding opportunities on offer in return for comparatively little investment compared with typical marketing activity.

For more information and more details of  how you can help please visit our Fundraising Page or contact louise.smith@cyrilflint.org

I’m off to dig out more ’80’s CD’s now………..