The Eric Liddell Centre has developed befriending services for carers. Loss of social networks is one of the most common impacts of caring. Befrienders can help rebuild a carer’s sense of confidence, inclusion and self-esteem, which in turn promotes increased well-being.
Support for Unpaid Carers
In addition to supporting the person living with dementia, we also run services to support the people who look after them every day. The role of a carer can be isolating and stressful. A Carers UK survey found that 8 in 10 carers feel lonely and anxious. Finding ways to cope with the demands of the role and getting the occasional break help to extend the time that carers can keep their loved ones at home.
Our befriending service pairs carers with trained volunteers who meet with them regularly to provide companionship and a break from their responsibilities. They are matched on interests and circumstances so have a good start at building a relationship. They may meet weekly for a coffee or to attend a fitness class or other activity. The feedback we get from carers about this programme is overwhelmingly positive. This service makes a personal, positive impact on their lives and helps them sustain the role of carer for longer. We were able to help over 500 carers in 2018.
Befrienders support carers to become more engaged with the community, or simply have a break from caring for a little while.
The service is free, however, carers will need to consider budgeting for any activity they attend with a befriender. If you would like to find out more please contact Sally Sorrie on 0131 357 1271 or email Sally.