YOPEY Befriender enters its 4th year
YOPEY Befriender grew greatly in the autumn of 2016. We started new schemes in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk – see stories below – as well as recruiting new YOPEY Befrienders for our established schemes in Watford, Nottingham and Bury St Edmunds.
We also trialled a new style of YOPEY Befriender scheme for younger pupils with Year 10s from Watford Girls Grammar going into a care home for a half-day introduction to YOPEY Befriender in the hope that they will want to return regularly when they are sixth-formers.
YOPEY founder Tony Gearing was so inspiring at the girls' assembly that over 90 out of 150 girls asked to take part in this scheme and YOPEY is organising five half-day visits to Runwood care home Greenbanks to accommodate so many volunteers.
We also did the same trial with 20 Year 10s from All Saints Catholic Academy in Mansfield, Notts, going into local Runwood care home Maun View. They enjoyed the visit so much that they have volunteered to go back and help with the care home's next party for the elderly residents.
High tea with High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire
Photographs by Chris Penfold
The High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire has praised 30 teenagers from Rushcliffe School who give companionship to care home residents and continue to visit even after an elderly friend dies.
High tea with High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire – part 2
Photographs by Tom Allaway
We had two photographers from Rushcliffe Photographic Society at Leawood Manor when seven YOPEY Befrienders from Rushcliffe School came for high tea with the High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire and residents, relatives and staff of the Runwood care home.
Here are some of Tom Allaway's photographs. To take a free jpeg open the gallery on the left, choose your image, right click and download.
Norfolk: another high tea with a different high sheriff
Photographs by Paul Sanwell
The High Sheriff of Norfolk has praised a dozen teenagers from Wymondham High School who give companionship to care home residents in their town.
Sixth-formers from the Folly Road school visit residents at Windmill House in Browick Road – where they spend an hour or so each week chatting to them, exchanging news and encouraging them to share their memories. Many of the residents have dementia but the young people are taught to see the person and not the disease, but also how to cope
Rushcliffe YOPEY Befriender interviewed on radio
After having had high tea with the High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire and residents at Leawood Manor care home, one of the YOPEY Befrienders, Lola Smith, was interviewed by BBC Radio Nottingham for its busy drive-time show. You can listen here...
Little bit of fame for founder and his wife
YOPEY founder Tony Gearing was contacted by Bury Free Press feature writer Barbara Eeles in March 2017, who asked if she could write a feature about him. He replied: “Yes, as long as it also features my wife Jo.” As reported in the feature – which also appeared in the Suffolk Free Press, Newmarket Journal and Diss Express – Tony says: Jo “kicks me up the backside when I get demoralised, because sometimes it can be quite tough.” Read on for an insight in how YOPEY came to be founded…...
Befrienders, new and 'old', recommend YOPEY to council
Photographs • Chris Fell
A council officer visited the YOPEY Befriender scheme at St Peter's House in Bury St Edmunds to interview YOPEY Befrienders.
A few of the new YOPEY Befrienders from Year 10 at County Upper School were joined by two of the 'old' YOPEY Befrienders from last year's Year 10 at St Benedict's School. Or shall we say 'veteran'?
The students from the two Bury St Edmunds schools praised YOPEY Befriender to the officer, who represented the neighbouring district...
High Sheriff's awards for two YOPEY Befrienders
Two Bury St Edmunds schoolgirls, who volunteered over 50 hours each as YOPEY Befrienders, were finalists for the High Sheriff of Suffolk’s Young Volunteer of the Year.
Mary Whittingdale, 15, and Millie Eddy, 16, visited people with dementia at St Peter’s House, a care home where all 60 residents have dementia, for an hour a week for a year.
At the awards at the prestigious Snapes Maltings venue on the beautiful Suffolk coast, “they were pipped at the post by a girl who volunteers at a youth club,” said
Over 70 teens take part in first introduction afternoons
Words: Daniel Hartropp • Photographs: John Flynn
On four Friday afternoons more than 70 enthusiastic 14-15 year-olds from Watford Grammar School for Girls visited Watford’s Greenbanks care home in Leadbetter Drive, to learn how to befriend elderly people living with dementia. This is the next step in the ‘YOPEY Befriender’ scheme which the charity YOPEY (Young People of the Year) has been trialling for four years.
YOPEY Befrienders are usually sixth-formers, aged 16-19, recruited to visit residents