More Befrienders Wanted By Alzheimer’s Society

A SERVICE in Liverpool and Knowsley run by Alzheimer’s Society which matches up volunteers and people with dementia is looking for more befrienders to give their time to help people live well with dementia. The befriending service has now been operating in Liverpool for over five years. The scheme provides companionship and people are matched depending on their personality and common interests, so those with the condition are able to continue to do things they enjoy. The service also offers respite care for family and carers during the time the befriender visits. Volunteers also benefit from the sense of value from helping another family who may just benefit from a kind face and a chat. Deborah Chadwick, Befriending Manager for Liverpool and Knowsley who was once a volunteer at the Alzheimer’s Society, talks about the scheme: “Being a manager of the befriending service enables me to support and guide a fantastic team of volunteers who work in the community with people they have been carefully matched with. ‘They meet up on a weekly basis where they do activities that are identified during the support plan stage. I can really see how it has benefitted both parties and that’s why we are looking for more volunteers to come forward so we can recreate more pairings like this and help more people to live well with dementia in Liverpool and Knowsley.” Michelle Davies Services Manager for Alzheimer’s Society in Liverpool and Knowsley said: “Life doesn’t stop when a person is diagnosed with dementia. People often still want to do the things they enjoyed doing before, but they might need some extra support. ‘This service offers the perfect opportunity for volunteers to help people with dementia to continue to feel a part of their community and do the things they enjoy. With the right support people can live well with the condition in their communities.” Dementia is a global issue. There are 47.5 million people worldwide living with dementia with 850,000 people in the UK. Alzheimer’s Society provides a wide range of support. For more information go to www.alzheimers.org.uk In Liverpool and Knowsley, services include: Singing for the Brain, Memory Cafés, peer support groups, carer information programmes, as well as the help of specialist dementia support workers. To find out more about accessing or volunteering for the befriending service contact: Deborah Chadwick Befriending Manager on 0151 426 4433 or email Deborah.chadwick@alzheimers.org.uk Helen Pattie Volunteering Officer on 01925 572 331 or Volsmerseysideiom@alzheimers.org.uk