Okehampton’s Community Links will be holding a big breakfast event next month to encourage people in the community to come together.

The community interest group will hold the event on February 4 in the Charter Hall from 9:30am-12pm and is encouraging the whole community to attend and enjoy a big breakfast which will include bacon, eggs and sausages.

Community Links befriending coordinator Vicky Hopkins, said: ‘The aim is to connect people in the community and let the community know what we do at Community Links and how they can be involved. It’s also a good oppportunity for people using our services to get together and enjoy one another’s company.

‘It comes at a good time of year when things become a bit flat after Christmas so it’s something to put in the diary and look forward to. It’s open to anyone in the community to come and enjoy the benefits. Organisations and other groups are welcome to come along as well.’

Mrs Hopkins currently runs a social group on Thursday morning at Refresh Cafe in Okehampton for those suffering with loneliness and isolation. The group has proved a be a great success and has grown dramatically from its first meetings in local cafe Toast with only a few members. Now dozens turn up for the coffee morning each week and Mrs Hopkins is now eager to establish similar groups in the surrounding Okehampton area including Hatherleigh, South Tawton and Folly Gate.

One of the group’s other missions is to encourage more isolated people to come forward and encourage more volunteers to become befrienders to help those feeling socially isolated.

Mrs Hopkins explained that research has shown that people who are socially isolated are more likely to have shorter lifespans, suffer with mental health issues and increase the risk of developing dementia.