This year THFN celebrates 75 years of befriending older people. We were first set up as Stepney Old People’s Welfare Trust in 1947 and since then, have been known by various names, as has the area where we operate now called London Borough of Tower Hamlets. THFN is a registered charity operating from community buildings in Bethnal Green with a small staff team and over 30 volunteers.

THFN directly supports over 250 older people each year, experiencing loneliness and social isolation through befriending and advocacy. Our core activity is visiting them at home, organising outings and other events and more recently, through distance befriending, primarily via the telephone. Indirect beneficiaries include family and friends of those we support, so in all the real number of beneficiaries may be at least 350 people.

The average age of our clients is 79. Last year over 90% of the people referred to us were experiencing depression and over 30% diagnosed with dementia, a figure we have seen steadily rise over the years.  The need for our support is self-evident and recognised by the local health and social services from whom we receive over 90% of our referrals.

This year we would like to celebrate our 75th Anniversary with afternoon tea parties bringing people together; either at a community venue or brought into their home by a Befriender. For this to happen, we need your support and we have launched an appeal. Donations can made by clicking here or scanning the QR code below.

All donations however big or small will help. For example –

£5 will fund items such as cake, biscuits, tea for the ‘Tea Party in a Box’

£10 will contribute towards a ‘Tea Party in a Box’ gift, so that those less mobile can celebrate at home.

£25 enables an older person to attend a tea party with entertainment, and door-to-door escorting.

Photo Exhibition – As part of our 75th Anniversary celebrations, we have delved into our “family album” of photographs of our clients over the years and the activities in which we have been fortunate enough to participate. These range from coach trips to the coast to our befrienders making telephone contact with our clients during the COVID pandemic, when social distancing regulations made face to face visits impossible.

We hope that you will enjoy the selection of photographs celebrating our anniversary now at the The Gallery Cafe Bethnal Green, until the end of June – they will then be displayed at venues including The Royal Foundation of St Katharine’s a Limehouse from from July 1st – 27th and the Bromley by Bow Centre July 28th – 31st Aug 2022.
Do come along to visit and to support THFN.