Become a Befriender with Bield

by Katie Hogg

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

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ONE of the country’s leading housing providers for older people is calling for volunteers in North Lanarkshire to partner up with a local charity to help tenants take part in a variety of social activities.

Bield, a registered charity that serves 23 local authority areas in Scotland, has teamed up with Befriend Motherwell, a befriending service that caters to older people in the Motherwell community.

In a bid to help prevent loneliness and isolation, and improve mental health and wellbeing, the project will encourage tenants to take part in a range of fun, social activities.

Through the initiative, residents feel included. When referring to being included in social circles, Glenview Court resident Marion said: “I feel that the group has accepted me, taken me in. And the befrienders, I found them really good.

“They give you something to keep your mind active and your body mobile.”

Befriend Motherwell was set up out of concern for the many older people who were isolated and lonely in the community.

The initiative works by matching up volunteer befrienders with people who would welcome some contact with a friendly face.

Participants recently made bird feeders and hung them up on the trees in their garden, but the call for extra volunteers is much needed.

Glenview Court resident Anne said: “About two years ago, we done the garden – planted a few plants. And there were a fair few of us that done it, too.

“But over time it has dwindled and dwindled. We really could do with a hand now to help us get back to normal again.’’

Colin Weir, Befriend Motherwell, said: “Although we are doing activities, it is more about the social aspect – interacting and feeling less lonely. Just being able to enjoy yourself and make friends within the group, too.

“There’s not a week that goes by that we don’t have some fun. We’re always looking for volunteers to be doing work within the groups.’’

It is estimated that there are more than 4,000 befrienders in Scotland. Around 32,000 hours of befriending takes place per month, with the average length of a befriending relationships falling between 15 to 18 months.

For more information visit www.bield.co.uk/join-us/volunteering or call Joni Mitchell on 0141 270 7255.

If you’d like to work with us, get in touch on 0131 561 2242, or by using the form below:

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Katie Hogg is part of the PR team at Holyrood PR in Scotland

Katie Hogg

Katie Hogg is part of the award-winning PR team at Holyrood PR. She is also a former journalist, most notably with luxury lifestyle magazine, Scottish Field

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