Time to Talk Befriending

Friday, 06 January 2017

Students have been commended for their involvement with the charity, Time to Talk Befriending.

This organisation trains volunteers to befriend elderly people who suffer from extreme loneliness. Loneliness and social isolation among the elderly is a growing problem in the UK due to factors such as poor health and mobility, loved ones passing away or family members who have moved. These factors make it difficult for older people to get out into the community. Time to Talk Befriending provide life-changing services so that the elderly can socialise with others, and establish valuable intergenerational links and companionship which improves their quality of life.

Students at Blatchington Mill have been involved with the organisation for some time. Most recently in December, they held a tea, coffee and cake stand for the Christmas fete at Muriel House Day Centre and Residential Home in Hove. In the past, students have also helped out with various events such as Christmas dinners and delivered Christmas cards and gift boxes to elderly people during the festive seasons. Working with the organisation provides training that will help students to develop their communication skills as well as inform them about the detrimental effects of loneliness in older age.

Emily Kenward, founder and scheme manager of Time to Talk Befriending, stated that ‘the students’ presence on the day was integral as they not only brought home-made cakes for us to sell (with the proceeds going to the Charity), but they brought a fantastic energy and enthusiasm which was much appreciated. The elderly residents thoroughly enjoyed their company and each young person put a lot of work in to making the event a success.’

Elliott Vergan, year 10, received special thanks from the organisation for his outstanding effort when helping out on the day. Mrs Kenward remarked that Elliot went ‘over and beyond the call of duty to make people feel welcomed and honoured.’ Elliott said, ‘It’s Interesting to hear all their stories of the good old days. It is great to be able to cheer people up and make them happy.’

The residents and the students all had a great day and it is fantastic that students are getting involved in the community, especially for such a worthy cause.

Well done to all those involved and keep up the good work!

You can find out more about Time to Talk Befriending by visiting their website.