Befriender '19

YOPEY Befriender

Young people supporting the elderly in care homes

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Stories about YOPEY Dementia Befriender (YDB) schemes in 2019

We started 2019 with YOPEY Dementia Befriender (YDB) schemes running in 13 places.

Among these are sixth-formers going in to care homes in Chelmsford, Norwich, Nottingham and Watford. We have started our first scheme in Bedfordshire in Leighton Buzzard, also using sixth-formers.

Younger secondary school pupils are going into other care homes Cambridge and Watford.

We have two schemes running in two semi-rural areas of Suffolk with several more planned as we endeavour to make YOPEY's home county the 'Beacon for Befriending'.

Cambidgeshire is also earmarked for major expansion.

We are also working for a second year with our first primary school, Burton End in Haverhill. You can see a film about our youngest volunteers on Youtube.

Our schemes in West Bridgford, Notts, and Wymondham, Norfolk, are in their fifth and third year respectively.

YOPEY founder Tony Gearing MBE said: "In 2019 we are poised for our biggest expansion yet."

Haverhill secondary joins Suffolk's quest to be #BeaconForBefriending

Photographs by Joanna Gearing

Teenagers from a Haverhill school have been trained as ‘YOPEY Befrienders’ to make friends with elderly people living with dementia.

Thirteen to 14-year-olds from Castle Manor Academy were recruited by the Stradishall charity YOPEY and trained by the charity at The Meadows care home in Haverhill

The 17 children, all girls, will go weekly from their school in Eastern Avenue to the care home in Brybank Road to visit the home’s residents. Some will

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Training photos of Castle Manor's YOPEY Befrienders

Photographs by Chris Fell

The girls from Castle Manor Academy were trained by YOPEY founder Tony Gearing or about two hours before they met residents at The Meadows care home in Haverhill for the first time. See story above.

The training included the 'Can I do this' exercise where the children are made to imagine they have dementia and asked a series of questions about what their character can and cannot do. If they think their character can do that thing they take a step forward.

For this training session we also

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High Sheriff recognises youngest befriending scheme

Photographs by Chris Fell

The High Sheriff of Suffolk presented children from a Haverhill school with a certificate for taking part in ‘YOPEY Dementia Befriender’ – the scheme run by a Stradishall charity between schools and care homes to bridge the generation gap between the young and the lonely elderly.

Rosalind Eminson, the High Sheriff, visited The Meadows care home in Brybank Road, Hanchett Village, and met children from Burton End Primary Academy, who had walked to the care home from their Burton End school.

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Queen's representative visits first YDB in Bedfordshire

Photos by John Flynn

The Queen’s top representative in Bedfordshire visited the first ‘YOPEY Dementia Befriender’ scheme in the county in June.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis CStJ, who is HM The Queen’s representative in the County of Bedfordshire, met young and old at Carrington House care home in Leighton Buzzard.
 
Teenage befrienders from Vandyke Upper School in Leighton Buzzard introduced Mrs Nellis to their elderly friends – some living with dementia –...
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YBs and their friends at Nottinghamshire care home

Photos by Roger Johnson

Photographer Roger Johnson visited Leawood Manor care home in West Bridgford to take these wonderful portraits of elderly residents and their YOPEY Befrienders from Rushcliffe School.

One YB organised the session. Iman explained: “Recently I received an email from Tony regarding how my reports here were showing a lovely growing friendship between Pauline and I.

"Tony was interested in organising a possible photo session. I organised with Tony a time and date for the photographs and also

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#BeaconForBefriending grows as Newmarket joins YDB

Photos by Paul Sanwell of OP Photography

Teenagers from Newmarket's secondary school have been trained to be ‘YOPEY Dementia Befrienders’ and make friends with elderly people living with dementia.

Fourteen to 15-year-olds from Newmarket Academy were recruited by the Suffolk charity YOPEY and trained by YOPEY founder Tony Gearing MBE at Kingfisher House care home in Newmarket.

About two-thirds of Kingfisher House's residents have dementia,

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First YDB in Cambridgeshire's Fenlands

Photos by Paul Sanwell of OP Photography

Teenagers from a Fenland school have been trained to be ‘YOPEY Befrienders’ and make friends with elderly people living with dementia.

The 14-15 year-olds from Neale-Wade Academy were recruited by the East Anglian charity YOPEY and trained by YOPEY founder Tony Gearing MBE at the March secondary school. On the same day they paid their first visit to Clovelly House, one of two care homes in March that will be welcoming the teenagers.

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Neale-Wade YOPEY Befrienders being trained

Photos by Paul Sanwell of OP Photography

Neale-Wade Academy allowed YOPEY founder Tony Gearing MBE to spend nearly a whole day training Year 10s who had volunteered to become YOPEY Befrienders how to relate to care home residents living with dementia.

They finished their training by visiting Clovelly House, one of two care homes in March that has agreed to take part in the scheme.

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New photo album Not out at Carrington House

Photos by John Flynn

Sixth-form YOPEY Befrienders from Vandyke Upper School have been visiting residents at Carrington House care home in Leighton Buzzard to provide companionship and entertainment.

Here are a couple of them organising a game of bowls.

One Callum Betley said: “The residents are very happy we are there. They have told us they love it when we come and it’s always nice to talk.”

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New photo album Another game at Carrington House

Photos by John Flynn

Sixth-form YOPEY Befrienders from Vandyke Upper School have been visiting residents at Carrington House care home in Leighton Buzzard to provide companionship and entertainment.

Here are a few of them organising a different game.


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