The sky’s the limit…literally!

Hi everyone! Hope all is well.

The topic of today’s blog is very exciting indeed; some might say the prospect of what will be discussed even has them on cloud nine. That’s right, Cyril Flint Befrienders, in partnership with ‘Sky Line Events’, now offers you the opportunity to take part in your own sponsored skydive.

Imagine the absolute thrill of being able to fly through the sky at a height of 10,000ft, and speeds of up to 120mph! The jump itself is called a ‘tandem skydive’, and  involves being strapped to a qualified ‘British Parachute Association’ tandem instructor. In essence, they do all the hard work for you! You are thus left to enjoy the invigorating feeling of free-falling for the first 5000ft, before gliding safely to the ground after the parachute has been deployed!

The Details:

This truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity! Being able to take part, whilst also raising funds for a worthwhile cause, is a win/win scenario. There are however a few important details to take note of first:
Each individual needs to raise a minimum of £395. This sum covers three costs:
• £70 deposit paid on booking.
• £185 approx jump cost (varies between airfields). You pay this in cash on the day of jump, to the air field.
• £130 – £140 approx charity sponsorship money (gift aid is an option on this). This money is normally raised online, or collected by the air field on the day. You must bank a post-dated cheque 4 weeks after the event.

In addition, anything raised above the £395 also goes straight to the charity too!

Diving Experiences:

If you’re thinking this is a great idea, but are possibly a little apprehensive at the same time, look at some of the testimonials below of those adrenaline junkies who have come before you:

“That initial rush as you topple out of the plane is like no other feeling I have ever experienced!” ~ Shelly

“For all newbies out there I’d recommend just doing it! You’ll be hooked after your first time… I think I’m on my 5th skydive now and I will never get over the thrill of it.” ~ David

“Skydiving is honestly amazing! I felt so nervous at the thought of it in the past, but you only live once, and when it was over I was glad I did it. I felt like Superman!” ~ Rob

However, if those testimonials aren’t enough to convince you, take a look at this awesome video provided by ‘Sky Line Events’ at the jump in action:

How you can get involved:

A  skydive is an undoubtedly unique way to help us raise funds for Cyril Flint Befrienders, and an experience to be remembered for life. If you’re interested in completing the skydive, please contact our fundraising coordinator Sam for your information pack at:
[email protected] (Tel. 01619429465)

Equally, if you want to take the leap and sign up immediately, you can follow our bespoke charity link to the ‘Sky Line Events’ website:

We hope to see some of you soaring through the sky in due course!
Until next month,

Are you up to the Cyril Flint Accumulator Challenge?

IT’S BACK! We’ve enjoyed huge success with our Accumulator Challenge over the past two years! We’re delight to be launching this year’s event on 1st May 2019!

How the Accumulator Challenge it works:

Each entrant is given a start-up fund: £100 to Teams and £50 to individuals.

We appreciate that organising any fundraising activity can involve some upfront costs and we don’t want you to be out of pocket! So you can use this fund to get started on your Accumulator Challenge fundraising mission!

The fundraising takes place 1st May – 31st October. We will set each team up with a Just Giving page and you can direct all fundraising, donations and sponsorship to this page. You will also be able to see how you are doing compared to the other Accumulator Challenge teams!

In November you will be invited to an awards evening! Here we will bring individual and team participants, Cyril Flint staff, befriendees and befrienders together. This will be an evening of celebration of all the fundraising that has taken place throughout the six months. It will also be an opportunity for teams to meet some of the people their fundraising will help. During this evening we will present awards for special achievements.

Awards will be presented to individuals and teams for the following:

  • Most innovative fundraising idea
  • Most funds raised
  • Best publicity piece

Support throughout

You will be supported throughout the six month challenge. We have a How-To guide full of ideas on how you can spend your start-up fund to generate more funds! From spending it on ingredients for cakes to host your own bake sales in the office, to using the funds to hire a room and entertainment and put on your own event! We have step by step guides and our Operations Manager, Alex, will be on hand throughout the six months to help you. We will also provide you with any Cyril Flint items that may help. This could include balloons, branded t-shirts, posters, pens and leaflets.

Why we do it

Andrea & Barbara, a Cyril Flint befriending match

As a charity we are dependent on donations, grants and fundraising to enable us to continue operating. We are on a mission to combat loneliness and isolation in older people across Trafford and South Manchester. We do this by providing a one to one befriending service. Cyril Flint are so fortunate that many local people approach us to become volunteer befrienders and generously give up their time to volunteer each week. Our service is totally free of charge to all older people who access it but we require funds to keep operating. These funds cover the costs to train and support our volunteers, to support our older people and to keep the charity operating and reaching more older people in need of our help.

Why we do the Accumulator Challenge

Instead of asking people to make a donation, we run the Accumulator Challenge as a fun and interactive way for people to support us. It can be a great personal challenge or act as a brilliant team-building exercise over the six months. It will all end with an evening of celebration and some special awards. The awards are to recognise those that have gone that extra mile!

Fiona & Amy, a Cyril Flint Befriending match

How you’ll make a difference

By taking part in the 2019 Accumulator Challenge you will not only be helping us by raising much needed funds, you will also be raising awareness of Cyril Flint Befrienders. You may do that via your team mates, through the people who purchase cakes at your bake sale, or those who attend any event you hold. Awareness raising is vital to us as it helps to inform more people about our service and potentially help the word spread to those older people in the community who may not have heard about us before. So please consider this when planning your fundraising, it is not all about the grand total of funds raised, but also about the number of new people who learn about our work via your efforts.

The 2018 Accumulator Challenge was great fun, with events from bee hunts and cake sales, to jarbolas, choir evenings and race nights! Teams crafted items, negotiated brilliant deals with local businesses and really exceeded our expectations. In the last two years over £10,000 has been raised by participants and we can’t wait to see what this year will be bring!

Get your pack today!

For more information or to request a free pack, contact Alex: [email protected] or call 0161 942 9465


Trowers & Hamlins Bee Hunt 2018

Meet the teams!

Meet the Teams!

Our 2018 Accumulator Challenge launched on 2nd April and we wanted to introduce this years’ teams! All have signed up to take part in our 6 month challenge, whereby the charity gives them £50 to turn into as much money as possible via smart and creative investment and money making schemes! Last years’ teams raised over £6000 and we can’t wait to see what ideas this years’ teams have. Here’s a little introduction to our 2018 Accumulator Challenge fundraisers:

HSG Crafty Beggars

A group of staff members from the Didsbury branch of the Human Support Group, who provide domiciliary care to older people across the UK, have set up a team. They can appreciate first hand, from their client base, the growing issue of social isolation and loneliness in older people and indeed some of the company directors were the founding trustees of Cyril Flint Befrienders. They plan to utilise their team members unique skillset, namely of baking and creating, to fundraise across the six month challenge and hope to encourage donations from colleagues, friends and family. Look out for their tasty creations on our Facebook page!

Social Lites Women’s Institute

This fabulous group are back for more! They reigned champion of ‘Best Publicity Piece’ in our 2017 competition and successfully raised over £1300 for the charity through a variety of fundraising initiatives. The group are passionate about helping local causes and have planned a series of events, including jarbolas, choir evenings, a 100 club, tombolas and stall sales, to raise awareness of the charity and to raise as much money as possible for our cause! Details of events open to the public to follow.

Team Trowers

Trowers and Hamlins LLP Manchester staff recently voted and selected Cyril Flint Befrienders as their Charity of the Year for 2018 AND 2019! The staff have already been busy fundraising for the charity this year via a very fun quiz night that raised over £1000 and cake sales and dress down days. They were keen to take part in this event as part of their fundraising campaign for the charity and are excited to take on the challenge!

South Manchester BforB

South Manchester Business for Breakfast group are a networking group that meet alternate Wednesdays when most of us are still sleeping! They have networking meetings over breakfast, as most are representatives from small businesses or are sole traders and need to utilise every moment of their day. They are formed of a variety of businesses from business coaches, financial advisers and mortgage brokers, to recruitment consultants and refreshment providers. The team are planning to run various events throughout the challenge including raffles and a wine tasting evening, to raise funds.

Cathrine McGrory

Catherine is a current volunteer with Cyril Flint Befrienders and actively fundraises for charities on a regular basis. This year Catherine has chosen to take part in our fundraising challenge and plans to climb Mount Snowdon as well as planning afternoon tea treats for family and friends. You can sponsor Cathrine via her Just Giving Page (below).

It’s back – Accumulator Challenge 2018

Layout 1

After the success of our first ever Accumulator Challenge in 2017, in which 10 groups raised over £6000, Cyril Flint Befrienders are launching our next challenge and hoping to beat last years’ total!

We are inviting people to join as teams, either with colleagues, friends or family,  to see how much money you can raise to help us in our mission to combat loneliness.

We are a Greater Manchester based charity whose aim is to reduce social isolation and loneliness in older people by offering a free befriending service, offering much needed friendship and a connection to the local community that so many older people are missing. As a Charity, we are dependent upon donations, grants and fundraising to help us to continue to operate and reach more lonely older people.

How the competition works:

  • Your team/group/organisation will be given a starting fund of £50
  • You will then have a 6 month period 2nd April – 1st October 2018 to turn this £50 into as much money as possible for Cyril Flint Befrienders. You can use the money to buy ingredients for bake sales, prizes for quiz nights, or whatever else you need to help in your fundraising efforts.
  • After the six month period we will hold an awards evening and crown winners in the following categories:
    • Most Funds Raised
    • Most Innovative Idea
    • Best Publicity Piece

For more information or to request a registration form, please contact Alex Neil [email protected] or call 0161 942 9465


Special thanks to the sponsors of this event The Human Support Group.

Free learning for Cyril Flint Befrienders

We’ve teamed up with Stephenson College to offer free work-book based course to our volunteers. This is an opportunity to complete a Level 2 course free of charge. The courses are work-book based, so can be completed in your own time to fit around other commitments.

There are a variety of Level 2 courses available, including:

Counselling Skills

Understanding Autism

Introducing Caring for Children and Young People

Understanding Specific Learning Difficulties

Working with Individuals with Learning Difficulties

Understanding Behaviour that Challenged

Understanding Nutrition and Health

Awareness of Mental Health Problems

Working with People with Mental Health Needs

Equality and Diversity

Information, Advice and Guidance

Lean Organisation Management Techniques

Principles of Customer Service

Principles of Team Leading

Common Health conditions

Dignity and Safeguarding in Adult Health and Social Care

Customer Service for Health and Social Care settings

Principles of Dementia Care

Principles of End of Life Care

All courses are fully funded as long as they are completed in full. Failure to complete the course will incur a charge to cover the cost of the workbook and registration fee.

You will be given 12 weeks to complete your course and you will be supported by Cathy, a Stephenson College Tutor throughout your course duration.

You need to let Alison know by no later than 21st February which course you are interested in, to allow time for us to order your workbook. Call Alison on 0161 942 9465 or email [email protected]

You will then need to attend a sign up session on 27th February at 6pm, at: Homecare Support, Craig House, 33  Ballbrook Avenue, Didsbury, M20 3JG, where you can meet Cathy, the tutor and collect your workbooks!



‘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

30 Days of Friendship

30 days friendship imageCyril Flint Befrienders are launching a #30DaysofFriendship campaign in the run up to Christmas to help raise awareness about the value of friendship, during the festive period and all year round!

Christmas is a lovely time of year for many, who enjoy big family get together’s, lots of social events and celebrations, however this isn’t the festive season everyone gets to experience. Cyril Flint Befrienders was established after a gentleman called Cyril revealed to his carer that he was about to spend his 23rd Christmas alone since the passing of his wife. His carer raised the flag about his loneliness, an ad was placed in the paper and we were inundated with responses form people in Trafford who wanted to have Cyril over for Christmas. These people clearly appreciated how sad and lonely it would be to be alone at Christmas. The response was so great that it led to Cyril Flint Befrienders becoming a registered charity in 2012. We now befriend nearly 100 older people and are continuing to create new friendships each week.

As a charity we are continuing to work to reduce loneliness and social isolation in older people across Greater Manchester. We do this by recruiting, training and DBS checking volunteers and matching them up with a lonely or isolated older person in their local community. We pride ourselves on our in-depth matching – making sure we match people who have shared interests and hobbies to encourage long-lasting friendships and in fact some of our friendships span back to 2013, not long after we were established!

We’re launching a #30DaysofFriendship campaign, kicking off on 13th November, World Kindness Day and finishing on 12th December with our Christmas party and raffle!

13th November – launch

14th November – Cyril Flint Quiz @ The Kings Ransom, Sale

23rd – 26th November – Gift Wrapping Shop @ The Lowry Outlet*

5th December – Volunteer recruitment session

12th December – Christmas party and raffle!

We’re urging local individuals and businesses to get involved and to promote the value of friendship, especially at this potentially isolating time of year.

Ways you can get involved:

*Donate a raffle prize


*Call in on that older neighbour you’ve not seen for a while

*Attend our events

*Volunteer your time

*Keep in touch with your elderly relatives and neighbours – it’s easy to get caught up in all of our plans over Christmas!

*Post about what you’re doing Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter, helping to spread the word and encouraging others to get involved. Use the hashtag! #30DaysofFriendship

Contact Alex Neil for more information about how you can get involved 0161 942 9465 or email [email protected]

Let’s spread friendship this festive season!


Spring into Befriending

Spring is nearly upon us and with it brings a sense of optimism, renewed vitality and (hopefully!) the urge to make a difference to your local community.

We hold a number of recruitment sessions throughout Greater Manchester. Sessions are fun, informal and informative and offer a great introduction to volunteering and how being a Befriender can make a huge difference.

Don’t worry if you’ve never been to an interview before, or if it’s a while since you had one. We make sure the atmosphere is relaxed and its a more of a “get to know you” over a brew.

Oh, and don’t forget to tell us if you have any special requirements to enable you take part in the interview process, please let us know on advance and we will do all we can to accommodate you.

Our next session is confirmed for Tuesday the March the 24th in Didsbury, this will be an evening slot.

We will also have sessions coming up in Walkden and Salford – watch this space!

Perhaps you are a group of people (community group/bunch of colleagues) that would like us to come to out to you to run bespoke sessions. We can tailor this to suit you, just drop us a line to [email protected] for more info.