YOPEY Befriender '14-15

Young People of the Year

Revealing, Recognising and Rewarding Positive Role Models

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Participants praise YOPEY Befriending trial

Charity looks for more schools and care homes to take part

A pioneering scheme in Nottinghamshire where sixth-formers befriend elderly residents, some with dementia, in a care home has proved a success in its first year.

The scheme in West Bridgford was set up by Young People of the Year, otherwise known as YOPEY (pronounced yop-pea), which runs competitions that reveal, recognise and reward positive role models who give to others.

In the first YOPEY Befriending scheme in Nottingham a group of more than 20 students in

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Teenagers find friends in their 80s

Teenager Kaylee Poloczek has a new ‘bezzy mate’ – 82-year-old Roy who she says ‘has done some cool stuff in his life’.

Seventeen-year-old Kaylee met Roy at an old people’s day centre while taking part in a pioneering project uniting young and old people in friendship to help combat loneliness and isolation.

The YOPEY Befrienders scheme, operated by the successful Young People of the Year awards (YOPEY), is being run in Hertfordshire with students from three schools in Watford; Francis Combe, Parmiter’s

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Six schools, four care homes and one day centre involved in second year of trials

Last year's very first YOPEY Befriender scheme involved two care homes, three schools and about 60 young people in Hertfordshire.

For the second year of YOPEY Befriender the scheme is continuing in Hertfordshire and has started in Nottinghamshire.

In Hertfordshire, three Watford schools are linking up with two care homes and one day centre.

In Nottinghamshire three schools are sending young befrienders into two care homes in Nottingham and Mansfield.

About 100 young people – nearly

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Nottingham school joins YOPEY Befriender

Teenagers befriend elderly people with dementia

More than 25 teenagers are trailblazing a new kind of befriending scheme in West Bridgford.

The 26 sixth-formers from Rushcliffe School are going into a care home in Hilton Crescent and making friends with elderly residents.

Some of the residents are living with dementia so the 16 to 17 year-olds have been trained to deal with with the behaviours this might cause – and with being forgotten from one visit to the next. But the teenagers are continuing to go in because "we

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St Michael's sixth-formers 'making a real difference'

John Marseglia, sixth-form placement teacher at St Michael's said: "Hot on the heels of a successful first year of youth befriending at Lancaster Court, a new and larger cohort of Year 12 students have entered the scheme through YOPEY.  

"With the excellent training only just completed, some befrienders have already contributed more than 10 hours volunteering in conjunction with the school’s community placement scheme.  

"Several were attracted to this placement through contact with elderly

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Francis Combe Academy relishes 'fantastic opportunity

Phil Harley, Leader of the Sixth Form at Francis Combe Academy in Watford, writes: "This scheme is a fantastic opportunity for our students to give something back to their local community as well as offer support and companionship to an elderly member of the community.

"Some of the youngsters involved in the scheme have already commented that they find the opportunity to make a difference to an elderly resident, extremely rewarding and humbling.

"All of our students found the initial training provided by

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First-time school Parmiter's eager to get started

Wendy Rowland, Deputy Head of Sixth Form at Parmiter's, said: "We strongly encourage our students to undertake community work and I am delighted that so many expressed an interest in the YOPEY Befriending scheme.

"Lancaster House is a local home and the staff and residents have all been very welcoming.

"Our students are keen to meet new people and to learn from them, as well as hopefully bringing a new dimension to the lives of the residents.

"The scheme is very well organised and the staff

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Runwood delighted to work with students

Runwood Homes, which has more than 60 care homes, mainly in Essex, Hertfordshire and Nottinghamshire, is pleased to be involved in the YOPEY Befriender scheme.

Top management praised the scheme.

Chief Executive Gordon Sanders said: “We think the YOPEY Befriender scheme is a fantastic initiative. It is bringing a large number of young people into our homes and putting a smile on the faces of our residents.”

Managing Director Logan Logeswaran said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity of welcoming the young students

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Three schools in first Nottinghamshire trials of YOPEY Befriender

Lorraine Jones, Deputy Head Teacher at Rushcliffe School in West Bridgford, said: “The training was really interesting and thought provoking. It made me want to be a Dementia Friend myself. I was very proud of our students – they are representing their age group in a wonderfully positive way”

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