Intergenerational Befriending

by Joanna Hammond

Intergenerational Befriending

We are really pleased to be able to announce the beginnings of a new project focussing on Intergenerational Befriending.

Young volunteers aged 16 to 18 will visit older people living in Care Homes, who cannot easily get out and about. Friends and family may not be able to visit regularly, or there may be no family at all. In these circumstances residents can become lonely and isolated which can impact on health and wellbeing. The traditional extended family, with grandparents, parents and children living in close proximity, is no longer the norm and many younger people have little contact with older generations. Without this contact, younger people can become distanced from older generations and may underestimate the value of older people. Visits from young people in Care Homes are not common and over time, a generation gap can develop.  Our Young Befrienders Project will help to build trust and develop understanding between the generations. Intergenerational befriending is beneficial to both older and younger people.  Young Befrienders will benefit from a wealth of life experience and knowledge, as well as an understanding of contemporary history.

Harriet Salvage is our new Young Befrienders Project Co-ordinator, joining the Cotswold Friends team last month. Harriet has presented the project to sixth-form students at Chipping Campden School. She is also in contact with three local Nursing / Residential Homes in the area. We already have a number of interested students who are in the process of registering as Young Befriending Volunteers.
We are really keen to see this new scheme up and running and are looking forward to updating you on our newest venture.

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