Befriender '19

YOPEY Befriender

Young people supporting the elderly in care homes

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Stories about YOPEY Dementia Befriender (YDB) schemes in 2019

We started 2019 with YOPEY Dementia Befriender (YDB) schemes running in 13 places.

Among these are sixth-formers going in to care homes in Chelmsford, Norwich, Nottingham and Watford. We have started our first scheme in Bedfordshire in Leighton Buzzard, also using sixth-formers.

Younger secondary school pupils are going into other care homes Cambridge and Watford.

We have two schemes running in two semi-rural areas of Suffolk with several more planned as we endeavour to make YOPEY's home county the 'Beacon for Befriending'.

Cambidgeshire is also earmarked for major expansion.

We are also working for a second year with our first primary school, Burton End in Haverhill. You can see a film about our youngest volunteers on Youtube.

Our schemes in West Bridgford, Notts, and Wymondham, Norfolk, are in their fifth and third year respectively.

YOPEY founder Tony Gearing MBE said: "In 2019 we are poised for our biggest expansion yet."

YOPEY Befriender school wins Community Champion award

A school that has taken part in YOPEY Dementia Befriender for six years has won its county's Community Champions award.

The Rushcliffe School from Nottinghamshire was nominated anonymously for the Nottingham Post Education Awards. Approaching 200 sixth-formers from the comprehensive school in West Bridgford have been YOPEY Befrienders since 2014. The sixth intake of 30 young people started volunteering in a new care home this October.

The Rushcliffe School was announced as Community Champions in a lavish awards ceremony

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Happy Christmas to care home residents from YOPEY children

Photos by John Flynn

Pupils and headteachers from two Haverhill schools visited a care home in the town on Friday (16th December 19) to bring Christmas cheer to residents.

About 20 pupils from Burton End made Christmas cards for every one of the residents at The Meadows in Brybank Road. They also sang carols to the residents.

For most residents they sang to them in the care home’s lounge. For each of those unable to leave their bedrooms they sang to them in their rooms.

“Every one of the

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Royal representative recognises top YOPEYs in England

Photos by Paul Sanwell of OP Photography

The Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk presented Ipswich teenagers who have visited lonely care home residents hundreds of times with certificates to mark their ‘retirement’.

Eleven sixth-formers from Northgate High School in Sidegate Lane West have visited residents at The Willows care home in Crabbe Street more than 250 times and given the residents over 500 hours of their time since April.

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Say it with cake

Beautiful cake made for the Lord-Lieutenant's visit to Ipswich to recognise top YOPEY Befrienders from Northgate High School, 'retiring' from visiting residents at The Willows care home to concentrate on their final school exams.

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Friendship photos from royal reception in Ipswich

Photos by Paul Sanwell

The ceremony at The Willows care home in Ipswich was watched by many residents who have been befriended by the YOPEY Befrienders during their time visiting the care home.

These are just a few of the conversations that went on – between young and old – around the ceremony.

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Receiving rewards from Suffolk Lord-Lieutenant

The Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk presented Ipswich teenagers who have visited lonely care home residents hundreds of times with certificates to mark their ‘retirement’.

Eleven sixth-formers from Northgate High School in Sidegate Lane West have visited residents at The Willows care home in Crabbe Street more than 250 times and given the residents over 500 hours of their time since April.

They were all ‘YOPEY Befrienders’ – recruited, trained and supported by the Suffolk charity YOPEY to befriend elderly

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2nd group of Newmarket YOPEY Befrienders trained in same year

Photos by Paul Sanwell of OP Photography

A second group of pupils from Newmarket Academy have trained to visit a care home next to their school as 'YOPEY Befrienders' – young people who volunteer to make friends with elderly residents, many of them living with dementia.

The eight 14 to 15-year-olds are pictured trying to do up shirts while wearing glasses that obscured their vision and gloves to represent a

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YOPEY Befriender back in Bury St Edmunds after 2 years

YOPEY Dementia Befriender – the innovative volunteering scheme where young people visit lonely care home residents living with dementia – has returned to Bury St Edmunds after a gap of two years.

The founder of the Suffolk charity YOPEY Tony Gearing MBE has trained six sixth-formers from County Upper School, one of Bury's secondary schools, to visit residents at Cornwallis Court in the town.

For two years from 2015 YOPEY, which is based in Stradishall, near Bury, trialled its first YOPEY Befriender scheme

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'My year as a YOPEY Befriender'

By Lloyd Frew, aged 18

For more stories from our YOPEY Dementia Befriender projects visit the Befriender sections of this website by clicking on links in the yellow box top right

"The YOPEY charity was set up to both to give the younger generation a fairer image in the media and encourage young people to regularly visit care home residents living with dementia. This 'intergenerational' scheme helps with improving relationships across the ages gap and is widely promoted by the organisers...
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YOPEY befriending starts in Dereham, Norfolk

Local sixth form college and York House care home join YDB

Photographs by Chris Fell

Teenagers from Dereham Sixth Form College have been trained as ‘YOPEY Dementia Befrienders’ to make friends with elderly people living in a Dereham care home. Some of the residents have dementia.

Sixteen to 17-year-olds were recruited and trained by the East Anglia charity YOPEY and trained at the college before moving around the corner to visit the care

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