Local Befrienders given thanks for long service

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Four volunteers from Kincardine and Mearns have been recognised for their long service to Kincardine and Deeside Befriending.

The charity aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness in older people by matching them on a one to one basis with volunteer befrienders.

Angela Broad, from Newtonhill, has volunteered for the service for 10 years, while Ruth Bruce from Laurencekirk, Anne Rodger and Helen Reid (both from Stonehaven) have volunteered for five years.

Just over 50 people attended the annual general meeting on September 14 when Liz Marchant handed out certificates to the ladies.

Everyone who attended enjoyed the business side of the proceedings as well as musical entertainment from musician David Hood from the Music in Hospitals scheme.

Two guest speakers were in attendance. Ron Michie and Liz Marchant both struck a chord with the audience by sharing personal experiences of befriending and its life-changing benefits on their loved ones.

Liz recited a poem about her mother whose life was turned around when she was matched with a befriender in 2014. She emphasised that by giving a little of our time and volunteering as a befriender we can make a big difference to someone’s life.

For more details visit the Kincardine and Deeside Befriending website: www.kdbefriending.org.uk/

The poem that Liz recited to the group:

‘….And when you first meet your Befriender,

You definitely won’t want to ‘return to sender’,

Because these special people really care,

They’re warm, they’re friendly but most of all, they’re there,

Because they truly understand

The value of companionship, of offering a hand,

As the great wheel of life begins to turn,

There’s a lesson that we would all do well to learn,

Because while we may not all have a Doctor’s brain,

We should not take our own skills in vain,

Within us, we have the ability to cure

A condition that so many have to endure,

An epidemic that has gripped the nation,

The debilitating state of isolation….” (An excerpt from ‘A Befriending Story’)