A new befriending service is now up and running across the Glens serving Drumnadrochit, Glenurquhart, Strathglass, Beauly and surrounding areas.
The service is open to people of all ages and aims to address isolation and loneliness. Free of charge, it operates through volunteers who are trained by Highland Hospice’s befriending team and are then matched with individuals who would like regular support through home visits or meetings.
The service is a 2 year pilot developed in partnership with Highland Hospice, Soirbheas, Beauly Cares and the Glen Urquhart Care Project, who also co-ordinate this new Befriending Service.
Natasha MacNicol, Befriender Coordinator at the Glenurquhart Care Centre, said, “There is a real need to help the lonely and isolated in the area, made all the more prevalent by being a rural community. Our volunteers have the potential to make a sincere difference to the lives of those we help. An hour or two a week isn’t much, but from small acorns big oaks grow.”
“No previous experience required just a friendly and caring disposition. Training and support is available for volunteers and expenses for travel costs are also offered.”
She continued, “As well as recruiting volunteers, we are really keen to hear from people across the project area who may wish to be referred to the service or might have a family member that would benefit.”
Susan Smith, Highland Hospice Helping Hands Co-ordinator added, “We have been running our befriending service for a few years, and are delighted to be working in partnership with Beauly and Glens to deliver a similar model. Their service is open to anyone who feels lonely or isolated in the community, so please do get in touch if you know anyone who could benefit. Without clients and volunteers the service simply cannot run, so we would love to hear from you.”
Carol Masheter Community Development Manager for Soirbheas said, “Soirbheas are delighted to have played a part in developing and funding this new service. Providing face to face befriending services in rural areas is challenging to co-ordinate. However, we were determined, as are our partners, to ensure that vulnerable people in our communities have equal access to support.”
To get in touch regarding becoming a volunteer befriender or to refer a client, please contact us by email or tel 01456 459 077.