The Courier Kindness Campaign: Help the lonely and isolated

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If you haven’t already taken part in The Courier Community Kindness Campaign, why not start today?

Simply cut out the coupon in The Courier today (March 20) for a free copy of the paper, claim your free paper, and then take it round to someone in your community you know is on their own. At the same time, you can take the opportunity to ask if they’re OK and if there’s anything you can do to give them a helping hand.

Lindsey le Grice, project coordinator for Monifieth Befriending Scheme, sees on a daily basis the benefits of holding out the hand of kindness and friendship.

“Back in 2000 an assessment of the needs of older patients who were being referred to the day hospital in Monifieth identified that some people fell into the category of being socially isolated to the point that it was detrimental to their health,” she explains, “This suggested that although their rehabilitation potential had been met, there were unmet social needs.”

A free service, the scheme partners volunteer befrienders on a one-to-one basis with people in need of human contact and in 2007 the service was extended to include bereaved people of any age living in Monifieth.

The sixth year pupils at Monifieth High were keen to come on board and pupils have been partnered with people in local care homes.

“We hold social events throughout the year allowing clients, volunteer befrienders and people on our waiting list to meet up regularly to enjoy social outings together, including lunches, afternoon teas, gentle exercise classes and social afternoons,” says Lindsey.

More than 40 clients are partnered with volunteer befrienders who spend time getting to know their client and provide company and friendship. Visits are normally once a week for around two hours and could involve a home visit, a short walk or a coffee.

“Our volunteer befrienders bring friendship and make a real difference to their clients’ lives,” says Lindsey.

“Community kindness is extremely important, if it wasn’t for the kindness of our volunteer befrienders our scheme would not exist.

“I am delighted that The Courier is highlighting the issue of loneliness and isolation and the effect it can have on people’s health. It is important to give recognition to people who show a little kindness and make such a huge difference to people’s lives.”

So – can you help us extend the hand of kindness? We want to know about the times someone went the extra mile to help you when you needed it. Please complete the form below to help us show the power of kindness.