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Tandem is a small, Oxford-based charity that has been setting up one-to-one befriending partnerships between people living with mental health problems, and volunteers, since 1999.


Many people who experience some form of mental distress such as depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions, also experience the loss of social networks that they previously relied on. Normal patterns of life such as going to work, meeting friends, and taking part in leisure activities are disrupted, and people become vulnerable to loneliness and isolation. 


Time spent in hospital, and a decrease in contact with normal community life, also lead to lack of confidence and self-esteem. For many people, simply going out is a big effort. This can be particularly true if they have recently been discharged from hospital.


At a time when approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK experiences a mental health problem each year, Tandem makes a real difference to people’s lives.


     Having a befriender is the only sustained help I have received over the last year and it has really made all the difference to me.  Somebody actually bothers to keep trying to help - they don't give up so I can't either.

HL, a service user

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