Volunteering with the Elderly | Revealing, Recognising and Rewarding Positive Role Models

A YOPEY Befriender is...

a young person who volunteers to visit a care home near their school and befriends lonely residents, many of them living with dementia

YOPEY Befrienders are...

Easing loneliness while learning life lessons and vital skills for the future

Young volunteering with Elderly

Following the end of the pandemic, we are back to running face-to-face YOPEY Dementia Befriender community partnerships in care homes. We are already doing our intergenerational work in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk and hope to return to other areas soon. We mainly partner sixth forms in the East of England, but will consider other age groups and areas

We continue to invite young people to support care home residents ‘virtually’ by writing letters, making activities and videos, and sharing artworks. These need to be sent to YOPEY digitally and we put them into packs that we send to care homes UK-wide. As we grew to supporting 2,000 homes during coronavirus, we have decided to continue this work too.


YOPEY mainly works with sixth forms to train and support their students to visit local care homes. We will consider applications from other school years.

Care Homes

Any care home in the UK is welcome to apply to have a YOPEY Befriender scheme. We will aim to recruit 10-30 young people to visit your residents.

Funders & Sponsors

Funding allows us to provide  consistent support to our YOPEY Befrienders for a year, providing them with training, regular contact, support materials, activities and projects.

Young People of the Year has become YOPEY Befriender

Latest News

Latest Reviews

Sixth formers from East Norfolk Sixth Form College, visiting St Augustine’s Place in Gorleston for the first time.

“I absolutely loved meeting the residents as it was so lovely to hear about their lives,even if it was only for a short while. The dementia training was very good and helpful and using us students in the scenarios helped us have a better understanding.”

Mia, age 17, from East Norfolk Sixth Form College

“Met some of the residents and had some lovely chats and got to know them and their hobbies.”

Kaitlin, age 18, from East Norfolk Sixth Form College

“I spoke to Ron about his experience in the war, also about his dogs and pets he had. He also kindly told me about his wife and his experience in earlier life.”

Ava. Age 17, from East Norfolk Sixth Form College

“I talked with Sylvia about her hobbies and her life in the care home. We also talked about her time working in the Birdseye Factory and working for the British Red Cross. It was a pleasure to meet her.”

Brooke, age 16, from East Norfolk Sixth Form College

“Introductory dementia training: we disproved stereotypes and people’s perceptions of dementia and went over safeguarding rules along with receiving our snazzy lanyards!”

Sophie, age 16, from East Norfolk Sixth Form College

“First time meeting the wonderful residents and putting our training to good use! They even gave us cupcakes!”

Sophie, age 16, from East Norfolk Sixth Form College

“I had a great first visit at St Augustine’s Place! I was able to meet residents and get to know them. We sat at a table and they talked about their lives for example what jobs they had and family and their hobbies. They were all lovely and very chatty! I spoke to Cynthia, a resident, with my friend most of the time and we got to know a lot about her family and her life which was very interesting and rewarding! ”

Chloe, age 16, from East Norfolk Sixth Form College