Young befrienders supporting older citizens in Monifieth have found new ways to stay in touch since the Covid-19 pandemic, giving a much-appreciated boost to the people they support.
The Monifieth Befrienders service offers support to people aged over 60. The service includes pupils from Monifieth High School who are paired up with an older person to provide some companionship. Coronavirus restrictions have made their usual home visits difficult so to make sure the older person they support doesn’t miss out they’ve been phoning, emailing, Facetiming, Skyping or communicating using Komp (a device that does the same as a tablet, smartphone etc but is easier to use) their friend instead.
Pauline Cameron from Monifieth Befrienders said “The young people do a fantastic job. They’ve been involved in the service for over five years and make such a difference to the older citizens lives.
“Some of the young people who started with us three years ago, still visit because they’ve struck up a great friendship. It’s great they’ve been able to continue despite the difficulties during lockdowns as the pupils and older people really enjoy having these friendships.”
Abigail Perkins and Bethany Morrison, pupils at Monifieth High School, paired up to befriend local resident Marion Edgecombe.
Abigail said: “I wanted to become a befriender so I could expand my connections within the community and to provide support to people who may be lonely or want some company. It is great being able to keep in touch with Marion because it allows me to find out how she is doing during this lockdown and it’s also another person that I can talk to as well, makes it a little less lonely for the both of us!”
Bethany said: “I have really enjoyed keeping in contact with Marion. It’s lovely to hear how well she has been getting on and I think it’s just nice for both of us to have someone else to talk to. Although we have not been able to keep in touch in person, it’s been great to be able to continue befriending virtually.”
Marion said: “It’s a breath of fresh air. It brightens up my day when I see an email from them in my inbox I go straight for it and read it right away. I enjoy hearing their news and I think it’s nice that they take time out of their busy lives to think of me.”
Monifieth Befrienders currently offers support to 72 older people. They recruited, trained and paired seven new befrienders in 2020, this includes pupils and adult befrienders. They currently have spaces available. Anyone in the local community who could use a friend to talk to should contact them on 01382 760412 or at www.monifiethbefriending.co.uk
Pauline Cameron from Monifieth Befrienders recently spoke to Kaye Adams on Call Kaye. You can listen to the interview on YouTube.
Photo includes (Bethany Morrison (Monifieth HS), Marion and Abbie Perkins (Monifieth HS))