Befriended by Art Group

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The Carron Arts Group have handed over a cheque for £250 to local charity Kincardine and Deeside Befriending. Their ongoing exhibition of artwork by local artists hangs in the reception area of Stonehaven Medical Group and a percentage of their sales is donated to a selected charity each year.

Kincardine and Deeside Befriending aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness in elderly people by matching them on a one to one basis with a volunteer befriender. They offer volunteers to people who have become isolated as a result of bereavement, loss of mobility, illness or family migration.

The volunteer visits can provide companionship, practical and emotional support and improve physical and emotional well-being.

It also means many elderly people are able to stay in their own homes for longer, get out and about with their befriender and simply have someone to chat to.

The charity is partially funded by Aberdeenshire Council but requires donations such as this to continue and expand their services.

Although the befrienders are volunteers, donations help cover costs of recruitment, training and support as well as the members of staff who make the process happen. One in six people over the age of 60 go a week without seeing family, friends or neighbours. Brigitte Matthews, Senior Co-ordinator said: “The money will go towards reducing our ever increasing waiting list. We’re already helping around 80 people every year but this is clearly not enough. Forty two old people are currently waiting for a befriender”.