A SOCIAL club created to bring people together and fight the epidemic of loneliness has held its first event.

A group of volunteers led by East Hendred teenager Chloe Prior have formed a new group called Step by Step in order to do something for the thousands of lonely and vulnerable people in Oxfordshire.

After being offered a temporary space in Didcot by the charity SOFEA, the group opened its ‘hub’ for the first time on Monday, allowing people to congregate and enjoy a chat and activities.

The space, at Trident Business Park, will be opened on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10am until 3pm for anyone to drop-in until a more permanent base for the new venture is found.

Ms Prior, 18, said: “I think it went really well. For the first one, it was a success

“We had all kinds of people coming in and were able to help two people already.

“We gave a food box to one woman and sorted out some furniture for somebody else so her family would have somewhere to sleep.

"It was the first meeting so we all shared a coffee and it was nice to sit around and hear lots of different stories and then we discussed the types of things people are struggling with.

"It gave everyone a bit of time to enjoy themselves and it's really showed me it was the right thing to do."

Ms Prior, who works in the Didcot charity shop Changing Lives, has opened the club with the help of Didcot councillor James Hart.

Several people have got in touch offering to run sessions including yoga, woodwork, arts and crafts and one-to-one support classes.

The second session will see the group make soup and the next Monday session will feature free yoga lessons.

Ms Prior resolved to do something at the start of the new year after coming across an older woman, who has dementia, alone on a bench late at night.

The same woman, who has now been taken into a care home, was seen on other nights walking head on into traffic.

Ms Prior felt there was no service available where she could send the woman to get support and so decided to set something up herself.