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
Volunteering With The Elderly
YOPEY Befriender during pandemic:
In normal times this charity runs befriending schemes where schoolchildren visit the elderly in care homes, mainly in the East of England. We have contributed to homes being upgraded to outstanding. We aim to return to face-to-face befriending in the autumn of 2022.
Meanwhile we are inviting schools to take part in four ‘virtual’ initiatives we started during the pandemic to support care home residents. We are mainly interested in sixth forms in the East of England taking part, but will consider applications from schools in other areas and different age groups.
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.
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
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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.”
“Met some of the residents and had some lovely chats and got to know them and their hobbies.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Introductory dementia training: we disproved stereotypes and people’s perceptions of dementia and went over safeguarding rules along with receiving our snazzy lanyards!”
“First time meeting the wonderful residents and putting our training to good use! They even gave us cupcakes!”
“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! ”